Social Security Death benefit - it's not a lot of money, but it should be barely enough to handle a simple cremation.
The social security death benefit is like $255.00. A cheap cremation costs around $5,000.00. My father died last year, and because of his health he couldn't get good life insurance. They only paid around $1500.00 of it. My brother had to front the other $3,500.00. This was with the bare minimum of services from the funeral home as well. As far as what they do if you can't afford it, I'm not sure if states still do pauper funerals or not.