COVID-19 Funeral Assistance from FEMA

 What is FEMA?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a division of the Federal Department of Homeland Security. It is charged with a wide range of responsibilities relating to natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods. Now FEMA is helping families impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the closing months of the Trump administration, the 116th Congress  passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 that provides financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.   Applications for reimbursement are being accepted starting on April 12, 2021.

The following information comes directly from the FEMA website:
https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance#apply

FEMA Funeral Assistance

Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.

This program provides reimbursement for eligible funeral expenses already incurred. It does not pay for current funeral services. Keep all receipts.

Eligible expenses include:

  • Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
  • Transfer of remains
  • Casket or urn
  • Burial plot or cremation niche
  • Marker or headstone
  • Clergy or officiant services
  • Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
  • Use of funeral home equipment or staff
  • Cremation or interment costs
  • Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
  • Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances

 

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

How to Apply

FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021 through their dedicated call center.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time

The required documentation to apply for assistance includes:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

How Funds are Received

If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.