DELMAR — ”In 50-plus years, no one has ever been turned down for lack of money,” said Stephen Meyers of Meyers Funeral Home at 741 Delaware Ave. in Delmar.
During that time, he and his father Ben, who founded the home in 1968, have directed everything from “immediate disposition to the Taj Mahal” of funerals, he said, but no one has ever been turned away because they couldn’t pay.
Most of those who have been bereaved, according to Meyers, are not aware of the options available to them when a loved one dies and there may not be much money left behind to cover funeral expenses.
“There are benefits out there, but people don’t know where to look,” said Meyers. “A big part of my job is finding assets for people that they didn’t know they had.” For instance, Meyers explained, the county will often cover many of the expenses, but each county has a different policy and it can be difficult information to find during a time of grief. In addition to Medicaid assistance, he said that there are additional veteran’s benefits as well, including free interments for veterans and their spouses at Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery in many cases.
“Some counties are more difficult than others to work with,” he explained. “Other counties, it’s just a phone call and you can get a confirmation the next day. But, as long as we know the process is in order, we can go ahead and work with the families.”
Meyers said he probably goes through that process four to six times a month, often with families from the various nearby counties.
“We have a very flexible policy,” he said. “No two people are the same, and so no two funerals should be the same. We can meet needs at both ends of the spectrum and everything in between.”
Joking that he could write a book about the funerals he has directed, Meyers declined to share any of those stories out of respect for the families.
“Remember that is someone’s loved one that you’re taking care of,” he said. “So I always use the utmost professionalism and courtesy.”