Funeral Assistance FAQ
The COVID-19 incident period ended on May 11, 2023. FEMA will continue to provide funeral assistance until Sept. 30, 2025, to those who have lost loved ones due to this pandemic.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
No. For deaths occurring after May 16, 2020, COVID-19 Funeral Assistance documentation must include a death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.
As part of the application review process, FEMA validates documentation, and may call the funeral home to verify receipts or expenses.
No. Section 408(e)(1) of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (Stafford Act) does not recognize funeral homes or other businesses as eligible recipients of federal funds under the Individuals and Households Program. FEMA will not provide COVID-19 Funeral Assistance funds to states, tribes, territories, businesses, organizations, and other entities.
While FEMA does not require a certified copy of the death certificate, you should follow state law when submitting documentation, as some states do not allow vital records to be copied, scanned, or electronically transmitted.
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.
The President approved funding for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020, under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. A funding gap has not been identified
FEMA does not consider life insurance proceeds, death gratuities, or other forms of assistance not specifically intended to defray funeral costs as a duplication of benefit. Therefore, applicants who used life insurance to pay for funeral expenses may be considered for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.
While a funeral home employee may help an individual gather required documentation, they cannot speak on behalf of the applicant unless the applicant designates them to act on their behalf through a power of attorney.
You will not be asked to provide proof of life insurance. Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.
Funeral directors do not have a legal responsibility to assist with COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA may call the funeral home to verify receipts or expenses submitted by an applicant.