Funeral Assistance FAQ

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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

You may qualify if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-citizen who incurred funeral expenses on or after Jan. 20, 2020, and
  • The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by, or was likely the result of, COVID-19.

Yes. If you recently applied for FEMA disaster assistance for home and/or personal property damage and also incurred funeral expenses for a death attributed to COVID-‍19 on or after January 20, 2020, you may apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. You will need to call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline to complete an application for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

FEMA will not contact you unless you have already called FEMA and applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date, or Social Security number of any deceased individual during an unsolicited telephone call or e-mail from anyone.

Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. If you doubt a caller is legitimate, hang up and report the call to the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.

Following consultation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FEMA believes the largest number of undiagnosed COVID-19 cases most likely occurred early in the pandemic and prior to the CDC’s guidance on death certification.

If the applicant has not paid the funeral expenses in full, but incurred the expenses on or after Jan. 20, 2020, they must provide proof of funeral expenses (e.g., receipts, funeral home contract, etc.). Review a list of required documentation here.

Only individuals who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses are eligible to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will not provide COVID-19 Funeral Assistance funds to states, tribes, territories, businesses, organizations, and other entities.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is a type of assistance provided under the FEMA Individuals and Households Program (IHP) that is available to U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or qualified non-citizens. The FEMA Individual Assistance Program and Policy Guide provides the following definitions.

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.

You are encouraged to provide documentation verifying the death was attributed to COVID-19, along with proof of funeral expenses and proof of other funeral assistance received, as soon as possible. Once FEMA receives all your documentation, we will verify and validate it as part of the application review process.

If you incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses on or after January 20, 2020, and those expenses exceeded the funding intended to pay the costs, FEMA may evaluate your receipts and other documentation for eligible costs not covered by those funds to ensure there is no duplication of benefits. For example, if you incur expenses for a $10,000 funeral, where the funeral or burial insurance covered only $8,000, you may be eligible for up to $2,000 in COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

Any funding designated specifically for funeral costs is considered a duplication and is not eligible for reimbursement. This includes burial or funeral insurance, a pre-planned or pre-paid funeral contract, a pre-paid trust for funeral expenses, or an irrevocable trust for Medicaid.

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