FEMA to award grants for COVID-related funeral expenses

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Starting Monday, April 12, the Federal Emergency Management Agenty (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 finalized March 24, 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 be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:

• The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.

If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.

An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.

• The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

• This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.

Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

To apply:

• Call 844-684-6333 or 800-462-7585 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday.

You will be able to call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get an application completed with help from FEMA's representatives.

• No online applications will be accepted, and multilingual services will be available.

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

• Mail documents

What funeral expenses are covered?

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. Any receipts received for expenses that are not related to funeral services will not be determined eligible expenses. 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

Documentation that applicants should be collecting

• An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.

• Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and dates the funeral expenses were incurred.

• Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

For more information about this assistance, visit the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance page at FEMA.gov.

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  • Wow

    -- Posted by Avenger1234 on Wed, Apr 7, 2021, at 7:03 PM
  • This is insane.

    -- Posted by Youseriousclark? on Wed, Apr 7, 2021, at 8:12 PM
  • Not everyone will suffer from a flood or hurricane, but all of us will die. Plan accordingly.

    -- Posted by letspulltogether on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 7:54 AM
  • *

    President Biden should have just come out and said he was going to have Mexico pay for funerals, it might have been a bit easier for some of you to swallow that way.

    -- Posted by BJCP96 on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 9:42 AM
  • Better this than sending pandemic relief funds to foreign countries.

    -- Posted by techphcy on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 9:49 AM
  • Note an attack on the past or a certain people group rather than a perspective on the bill.

    So, I will ask for clarity if you support the funeral payment plan or don't support?

    Thanks in advance!

    -- Posted by beg on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 12:22 PM
  • *

    Refering to something that was literally said in the past is not an attack on the past or a group of people. If you feel atacked, thats on you, not me. Maybe talk to a therapist.

    -- Posted by BJCP96 on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 12:47 PM
  • I disagree but that is ok. I understand the importance of deflection and personal comments/ advice.

    I will not go down that road as it doesn't add to the conversation.

    Enjoy your Thursday

    -- Posted by beg on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 12:52 PM
  • *

    LOL - BJCP... if Biden had said that he was going to make Fauci and China pay for it I would be happy to give him credit!

    As it is... it ain't the government's job to pay for people's funerals.

    -- Posted by dreadpirateroberts on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 7:30 PM
  • Pirate has never heard of Arlington National Cemetery, I suppose.

    -- Posted by Koios on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 9:39 PM
  • Koios,

    Do you support the plan as presented in the short article above?

    -- Posted by beg on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 10:24 PM
  • Beg, I was commenting on the absolutist statement quoted below.

    “As it is... it ain't the government's job to pay for people's funerals.”

    Shades of gray, if you will.

    -- Posted by Koios on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 10:32 PM
  • That is fine. Didn’t comment on that. Just wanted to hear if you support FEMA’s program.

    Not a trick question and much better conversation

    -- Posted by beg on Thu, Apr 8, 2021, at 11:55 PM
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