Funeral Assistance FAQ
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
No. Your income does not affect your eligibility, although you will be asked to provide your annual gross household income when you apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA collects this information for demographic purposes only.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is considered a one-time payment for funeral expenses, and you should apply after you have incurred all expenses. If you incur additional funeral expenses after receiving COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, you will need to submit an appeal and additional supporting documentation (e.g., receipts, funeral home contract, etc.). COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per deceased individual.
No. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is only available to individuals who incurred funeral expenses for a death attributed to COVID-19 on or after January 20, 2020.
Each cost in a funeral service package must be listed separately (i.e., itemized). Documentation must also include:
- The name of the individual responsible for the cost;
- The deceased individual's name;
- The total amount of the funeral expenses; and
- The date the funeral expenses were incurred.
FEMA extended the document submission timeline to provide more time for individuals to gather required information and documentation and out of consideration for the pandemic environment, which has delayed some activities, such as memorial services.
Currently, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. However, once you apply, you will have 365 days to complete your application by submitting all the required information and documentation.
If you are experiencing difficulties obtaining or submitting the required information and documentation, call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline, 844-684-6333, for assistance.
The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Multilingual services are available. Callers who use a relay service, such as a videophone, should provide FEMA with the specific number assigned to them for that service.
If your application is placed in a suspended status, you can still submit the required information and documentation, and FEMA will reopen your application for additional processing. You will not need to submit an appeal.
The 365-day document submission requirement will occur 12 months after you initially applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA sends multiple reminders to applicants throughout this 365-day timeframe, to include instructions at the time of application, personal and automated phone calls, emails, text messages and/or written correspondence 60, 90 and 150 days after you apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and 60 days before the 365-day deadline.
Yes. If you receive notification from FEMA your application was placed in a suspended status, you can submit the required information and documentation, and FEMA will reopen your application for additional processing. You will not need to submit an appeal.
During the first 365 days after you apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, FEMA sends a series of reminders asking you to submit any outstanding required information and documentation. If you do not submit the information and documentation within 365 days, you will be notified your application was placed in a suspended status. When your application is suspended, FEMA will not send additional reminders or continue to follow-up on your application. If you no longer wish to be considered for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, no further action is needed. If you do want FEMA to finish processing your application, you can submit the required information and documentation, and FEMA will reopen your application for additional processing. You will not need to submit an appeal.