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

The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application is completed by a FEMA representative over the phone to ensure accuracy, and applicants will need to provide the following information when they call to apply:

  • Social Security Number for the applicant and the deceased individual
  • Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
  • Current mailing address for the applicant
  • Current telephone number for the applicant
  • Location or address where the individual died
  • Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
  • Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations, CARES Act grants, and assistance from voluntary organizations
  • Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit) – optional

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.

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.

FEMA expanded its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance documentation requirements to allow applicants to submit a signed statement from the certifying official listed on the death certificate, or the local medical examiner or local coroner, attributing the death to COVID-19 for deaths that occurred between Jan. 20 and May 16, 2020.

The signed statement must accompany the death certificate and include a causal pathway, or explanation, linking the cause of death on the death certificate to COVID-‍19.

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.

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.

No. The statement must be signed by the certifying official listed on the death certificate, or the local medical examiner or local coroner in the jurisdiction where the individual died.

You will not be asked to provide proof of life insurance. Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

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It may take up to 14 business days for documents to appear in your case file. Please do not resend documents or call to check on the status without allowing enough time for FEMA to upload and review your paperwork.

FEMA will not approve financial assistance for third-party fees charged to assist individuals with the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application process.

Last updated May 15, 2023