FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Now Available, Apply Today

 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now accepting applications for funeral assistance and reimbursement through its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

Expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation typically include, but are not limited to:

  • 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

Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state.  

Apply for Assistance:

To begin the application process, individuals can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585. The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

Find a checklist of documentation needed prior to your call by clicking here.

Eligibility:

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

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

A minor child cannot apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

Gather Documentation:

Once an applicant has applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and is provided an application number, they may provide supporting documentation to FEMA a few ways:

  • Upload to their DisasterAssistance.gov account
  • Fax documents: 855-261-3452
  • Mail documents: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782

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.

Deadline:

At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will communicate a specific deadline once established.

Learn more about the reimbursement process or FAQs by visiting FEMA’s website.

Applicants can also access a video overview of the process here.

Monica Ruvalcaba

Monica Ruvalcaba is an Executive Fellow for the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Since joining Cal OES in 2020, she has worked on policy analysis and assisted in the response and recovery efforts of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 wildfires, and public safety power shutoffs. Previously, she worked as a Research Assistant for the UCLA Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases.

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