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FEMA to help pay funeral costs for COVID-19 related deaths

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. 

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 consider documentation from other individuals not listed as applicant or 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.
  • The 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.

In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows the death occurred in the U.S. 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 the 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.

More information regarding this assistance can be found at:

https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

For questions, contact FEMA Office of External Affairs: