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. The end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and National Emergency declarations will not affect the eligibility period for COVID-19-related funeral expenses. You must incur COVID-19-related funeral expenses on or after January 20, 2020, to be eligible for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will release more information when an end date is established.
No. The end of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency and National Emergency declarations will not affect the application period for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, which does not currently have an end date. FEMA will release more information when a deadline to the application period is established.
No online applications will be accepted.
When you call, it will take about 20 minutes to apply, and you can ask questions and receive the help you need with the application process.
Once you have applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and received your FEMA application number, you may submit required documentation to FEMA in several ways:
- Upload documents to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
- Fax to: 855-261-3452
- Mail to: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782
Funeral homes are not eligible to apply on your behalf or to be a co-applicant on your COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application. The person applying must be an individual, not a business or other entity, who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses.
You must provide a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of funeral assistance received from any other source.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been caused by,” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution. If the death certificate was issued between Jan. 20 and May 16, 2020, and does not list COVID-19 as a cause of death, you may submit the death certificate along with a signed statement from the original certifier of the death, or the local medical examiner or coroner, attributing the death to COVID-19.The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia. Funeral expenses incurred for a U.S. citizen who died outside the United States are not eligible.
- Documentation for funeral expenses (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include your name as an individual responsible for the expenses, the deceased individual’s name, itemized funeral expenses, and proof funeral expenses were incurred on or after January 20, 2020.
- You must also provide FEMA with proof of funds received from other sources specifically designated for funeral costs. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicate burial or funeral insurance proceeds, pre-planned or pre-paid funeral contracts, pre-paid trust for funeral expenses, irrevocable trust for Medicaid, financial assistance from voluntary organizations, government programs or agencies, or any other sources specifically designated for funeral expenses. Any eligible COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance you received for the same expenses.
- Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of COVID-19 Funeral Assistance benefits.
The death certificate amendment process starts by contacting the individual who certified the death. This may be a physician, local coroner, or local medical examiner. You may provide them with evidence supporting your claim the death was attributable to COVID-19.
The Privacy Act limits access to DisasterAssistance.gov accounts to the applicant and/or co-applicant.
While a funeral home may provide internet access to the applicant, they cannot submit the documents or receive correspondence on the applicant’s behalf. Learn more about who can help with the application process.
FEMA regulations require the applicant to use COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for its intended purpose.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many. If you need help or support, please:
- Call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 for immediate help and support.
- Visit the American Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center website, or call 833-492-0094, for comfort, support, information, and resource referrals if you have suffered loss due to COVID-19. All support is provided virtually and is completely confidential.
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.