Research Assistance

Legal Assistance


  • Can my family retrieve our relative buried on Hart Island?

    New York City disinters for free if the decedent or family member did not request or approve a city burial. If your family was not notified prior to burial and was unaware of the death of your relative, you can hire a licensed funeral director to file a disinterment request. The city disinters for free but funeral expenses are paid by the family.


Burial Assistance

  • How do I apply for NYC burial assistance?

    Anyone who is seeking burial assistance must go to the city's burial claims unit in person, with any documentation they have regarding the death of their loved one. It is a reimbursement service, so people should go after making funeral arrangements. Usually they need a receipt from a funeral home or other burial agency, but the only requirement is that the person who died or the mother of a stillborn was a New York City resident and files the request within 60 days of the death. The city will pay up to $900 for a funeral service that costs no more than $1,700.

    Burial assistance is located at 25 Chapel Street in downtown Brooklyn, Room 606. Applications must be in person. The phone number is: (718) 473-8310.

    To address the unprecedented impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic, DSS/HRA issued an emergency rule:

    • Increasing the burial allowance from $900 to $1,700 and increasing the cap on burial costs from $1,700 to $3,400. 
    • Extending the timeframe for when you can apply to 120 days from the date of the individual's death.

    Contact the NYC HRA Office of Burial Service:
    33-28 Northern Blvd. - 3rd
    FloorLong Island City, NY 11101

    Phone: 929-252-7731
    View Application for Burial Allowance

  • How do I identify alternatives to a burial on Hart Island?

    Volunteers for Legal Service created this burial guide. The guide has a form on page 58 to appoint an agent to handle remains with instructions.

Creative Projects

Missing grave locations

  • I can’t find a grave location assigned to the Plot number listed. Where is this plot?

    GPS information provided by the Department of Correction is incomplete. The following grave locations are affected:

    Adult Plot 120 GPS is missing
    Adult Plot 130 GPS is missing
    Adult Plot 131 GPS is missing
    Adult Plot 180 GPS is missing
    Adult Plot 195 GPS is missing

    Infants Plot 50 GPS is missing
    Infants Plot 42 GPS is missing
    Infants Plot 43 GPS is missing
    Infants Plot 44 GPS is missing
    Infants Plot 45 GPS is missing

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