Michigan affiliate of the national Funeral Consumers Alliance







The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) State Emergency Relief (SER) program provides financial assistance to qualifying low-income individuals and families for burial, cremation or the costs associated with body donation to a medical school.


Only a DHS specialist can determine eligibility for “SER burial,” as the program is called. The amount for which you may be eligible depends on a variety of factors, including the number of people in your household, income and assets.


If you believe you may qualify for assistance, complete the required DHS applications and select a funeral home that works with SER burial program clients. The funeral director will provide a contract (showing the total cost of the funeral service) and a DHS-required price quote, the sum of which cannot exceed a predetermined amount.


Application must be made after a death occurs but no later than 10 calendar days after the burial, cremation or donation takes place.


For detailed information, click to the Department of Human Services Burial Services page.


The Michigan Department of Human Services State Emergency Relief (SER) Program paid out more than $3.95 million for burial assistance in fiscal year 2008.


This is 10.4 percent of the more than $38 million SER Program expenditures, which include assistance for burial, relocation, home ownership, home repairs, utility assistance, and heating fuel and electricity.


SER Burial Applications

To download the required Assistance Applications, follow this link.




The State of Michigan Vital Records Office has death records for deaths that occurred in Michigan and were filed with the state as early as 1867.


You can order a record online using a debit or credit card, print an application to order by mail or to change a record, or get information about a service.


Note: If applying in person, you must submit your request by 3:00 p.m. in order to obtain same-day service.


Contact Info:


For general information about Michigan Vital Records or to have an application mailed to you, call the recorded message: 517-335-8656


To speak with a customer service representative regarding a regular request, call the Eligibility Unit: 517-335-8666


To speak with a customer service representative regarding a change or correction to a death record, call the Changes Unit: 517-335-8660


You may also send a general e-mail to VRCustomerService@michigan.gov for a response within two business days.





The Michigan Board of Examiners in Mortuary Science was created under Article 18 of Public Act 299 of 1980, as amended to license and regulate the practice of mortuary science and funeral establishments in Michigan.


The board currently oversees the practice of approximately 2,140 mortuary science licensees, 3 funeral directors (not licensed to embalm), 88 resident trainees, and 754 funeral homes. (Source DELEG)


The board comprises 9 voting members: 6 licensees and 3 public members.


You can apply to sit on the board that serves as the eyes and ears of Michigan's 10 million-plus funeral consumers.


All you’ll need to do is travel to Lansing one or two days per year to attend board meetings for a four-year term.


To apply, contact the Governor’s Appt. Office 517-335-7812 or follow this link.






COPYRIGHT © 2014 Funeral Consumers Information Society of Michigan



Funeral Consumers Information Society, also known as FCIS, is a volunteer-run nonprofit  dedicated to helping Michiganians make dignified, meaningful and affordable funeral arrangements since 1961.


In 2006, our mission expanded to advocate for the re-establishment of family rights in after-death care, including family-led home funerals, and to foster sustainable environmental practices, such as green burial, in the state.