FEMA to Cover Up To $9000 in Funeral Costs for COVID-19 Victims
In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was updated on April 16, 2021, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.
“At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate.”
To learn more, please click on this link to the FEMA website funeral assistance page:
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. [emphasis added by attorney, Susan Graham]
- 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.
If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:
- 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 TO APPLY
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number – Applications begin on April 12, 2021
884-684-6333 / TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time
Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA’s representatives. Multilingual services will be available.
Get answers to frequently asked questions about the application process on our Funeral Assistance FAQ page.
Fraud Alert: We have received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA has not sent any such notifications and we do not contact people before they register for assistance. Learn more
HOW ARE FUNDS 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.
P.S. Susan’s helpful hint. It is critical to have the death certificate specifically indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
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 : FEMA News Release March 24, 2021, updated April 16, 2021, and FEMA Website