Applications for Funeral Assistance Remain Open to People in Need
WASHINGTON -- FEMA announced today it has provided over $1 billion in COVID-19 funeral assistance to support more than 150,000 applicants grappling with the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. Earlier this year, the agency began providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses. FEMA continues to accept applications to support underserved communities and encourages more to apply.
“This pandemic has had an immense impact on our country,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Too many people have lost family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors to COVID-19. FEMA's Funeral Assistance program allows us to provide funds directly to those who may be facing an unexpected financial burden following the tragic loss of a loved one, and we are committed to providing this assistance with the compassion, fairness, integrity, and respect these families deserve.”
To ensure eligible applicants are aware that assistance is available, the agency continues to promote its helpline at 844-684-6333. The agency continues to examine existing application information, CDC death records and Social Vulnerability Index data to identify populations and areas that may benefit from greater socialization of this assistance.
The development and implementation of this nationwide approach to provide financial assistance is the largest scale funeral assistance mission FEMA has ever undertaken.
FEMA continues reconciling thousands of applications that cannot be processed due to incompletion and contacting applicants who have not submitted all the required documentation. FEMA sends reminders to applicants who have not completed their applications. Applicants are encouraged to confirm they have submitted all required documentation so their application can be processed in a timely manner.
To aid with outreach, FEMA recruited and trained additional contract staff for COVID-19 funeral assistance to better serve the public through a dedicated call center and assist callers throughout the application process with empathy and compassion. On average, calls are answered in under 10 seconds.
Additional information, including eligibility requirements, can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov.