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FEMA Provides Funeral Assistance to Support Those Who Have Lost Loved Ones to COVID-19

Release Date:
May 12, 2021

FEMA is providing financial assistance for funeral expenses from COVID-19 deaths, provided the expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020, and have not been reimbursed by other financial sources. Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state. At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will communicate a specific deadline once established.  

How do I apply for this assistance?

Initial applications are only taken over the phone with each case handled individually. 

  • Call the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) to apply.
  • Hours of Operation are 6 a.m.– 6 p.m. PT, Monday through Friday. 
  • Multilingual services are available. If you use a relay service, such as your videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, be ready to provide your specific number assigned to that service. Phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number.  

How do I know if I am eligible for funeral assistance?

You may qualify under the following conditions: 

  • You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and
  • The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.
  • NOTE: There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.  

How will I be reimbursed?

If you are eligible for funeral assistance, you will receive a check by mail or funds by direct deposit, depending on the choice you select when applying for assistance.

What documentation do I need to provide FEMA to complete my application?

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States—including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.  COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance the applicant received for the same expenses. Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of Funeral Assistance benefits.

If you gather all necessary documentation and information in advance of applying for assistance, it will help process your application in a timely manner.  

Beware of scams

FEMA will not contact anyone until they have called FEMA or have applied for assistance. Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date or social security number of any deceased family member to any unsolicited telephone calls or e-mails from anyone claiming to be a federal employee or from FEMA.

If you doubt a FEMA representative is legitimate, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.   

Where can I find more information about the Funeral Assistance Program? 

For the latest information and frequently asked questions, visit us online at: www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance  

 

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Follow FEMA Region 10 on Twitter and LinkedIn for the latest updates and visit FEMA.gov for more information.

FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during, and after disasters.

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Last updated May 12, 2021