§346-15 Death benefits for deceased medical or financial assistance recipients and disposition of unclaimed dead human bodies. (a) Where the decedent was a medical assistance or financial assistance recipient at the time of death and is ineligible for the Social Security Administration's one-time lump-sum death benefit, the department may issue a lump-sum death benefit in an amount equal to the Social Security Administration's one-time lump-sum death benefit for the year in which the recipient died.
(b) All unclaimed dead human bodies shall be cremated. The department may bear the cost of the mortuary and crematory services for unclaimed dead human bodies furnished by any licensed provider of mortuary or crematory services. Payments for mortuary and crematory services shall be made to the extent of the cost, or in the sum of $800 in total, whichever is less, for each unclaimed dead human body. Individuals who have possession, charge, or control of any unclaimed dead human body to be cremated at public expense shall have sixty days from the date of the deceased's death to submit in writing to the department its determination that the dead human body is unclaimed and its application for payment for cremation. The county medical examiners or coroners shall have no time limitation by which to submit their written determination that the dead human body is unclaimed and their application for payment for cremation.
(c) Any person submitting an application for the lump-sum death benefit described in subsection (a), on behalf of a deceased medical or financial assistance recipient, shall have sixty days from the date of death of the deceased to submit the application to the department.
(d) A person or public or private agency, including the department, shall not be liable for any damage or subject to criminal prosecution for any act done pursuant to and in compliance with this section.
(e) For the purposes of this section, "unclaimed dead human body" means the remains of any deceased person for whom no one has assumed responsibility for disposition and no legally responsible individual has been identified. Pursuant to section 327-32, the department shall review the written description of the efforts used in making the determination that a dead human body is unclaimed and approve the determination for purposes of payment of the mortuary and crematory services, if it meets the department's requirements.
(f) The department shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 91 for purposes of administering and implementing this section. [L 1943, c 36, §1; RL 1945, §4828; am L 1945, c 161, §1; am L 1947, c 22, §1; am L 1953, c 153, §4; RL 1955, §108-8; HRS §346-15; am L 1970, c 88, §1 and c 105, §5; am L 1976, c 177, §1; am L 1985, c 34, §1; am L 1987, c 339, §4; am L 1992, c 20, §1; am L 2000, c 101, §2; am L 2001, c 41, §2; am L 2010, c 205, §§5, 9; am L 2012, c 62, §§2 to 5]
State responsibility, see §27-1.
Duty of burial. 42 H. 500 (1958).