In April, FEMA began accepting applications for financial assistance to help cover funeral expenses for deaths related to the coronavirus pandemic. Individuals experiencing financial stress in addition to the grief over losing a loved one are encouraged to apply for this support.
We’ve pulled out some of the key points about FEMA’s funeral assistance program below. Complete details can be found online at fema.gov.
What do expenses cover?
Assistance of up to $9,000 per funeral may be distributed for expenses related to funeral services and interment or cremation that may 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 apply for funeral assistance?
- 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.
What do you need?
- 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. FEMA is 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
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time
More information can be found online at https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.