COVID-19. FEMA to provide assistance with funeral costs for pandemic-related deaths

| 15 Apr 2021 | 12:09

    Families that experienced the death of a loved one due to COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $9,000 in funeral assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

    Two pieces of legislation recently passed by Congress - the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the Amencan Rescue Plan Act of 2021 - authorized FEMA to provide financial assistance to families that incurred COVI D-19-related funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.

    Documentation needed

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

    Earlier this month, FEMA activated a dedicated phone line (844 684-6333) to help individuals to apply.

    FEMA encourages families that may be eligible to start gathering the following documentation:

    • 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 COVI D-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.

    If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant(s). Applicants can also apply for assistance for more than one individual who died.

    The FEMA website has complete information about eligibility requirements, documentation applicants will be required to provide, and how to start the application process. Visit