FEMA Tops $2 Billion of COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, Announces New Campaign to Increase Program Awareness

Release Date Release Number
HQ-22-034
Release Date:
March 15, 2022

WASHINGTON -- FEMA announced today it has provided over $2 billion in COVID-19 funeral assistance to support more than 300,000 applicants grappling with the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. FEMA is also launching a new outreach campaign and continuing to process applications to ensure that this program -- already the largest offering of funeral assistance in FEMA’s history -- reaches additional eligible families in need.

“FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program has helped provide over 300,000 people with critical financial relief during a time of such unexpected, unimaginable and wide spread loss,” said FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell. “Our new outreach campaign is designed to reach families, especially across underserved communities, where the cost of a funeral can be a financial burden to a loved one. Our goal is to help families apply for assistance, as well as submit all required documents for existing applications.”

Committed to reaching all affected communities, the agency will begin a targeted paid media campaign this month. FEMA recently hired a media contractor to tailor media efforts to reach the most impactful population-specific outlets.

These new paid advertisements will be directed to localities identified with high rates of COVID-related deaths, low funeral assistance application rates and high Social Vulnerability Index data.

The advertisements will help ensure information about FEMA’s funeral assistance reaches underserved communities that have experienced a high COVID-19 death rate but have low registrations for assistance.

The four selected areas will be in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.

FEMA is also hosting media roundtables with several community outlets in African American, Hispanic and Latino and Asian American Pacific Islander communities to encourage local press to help spread the word about the Funeral Assistance program. Additionally, FEMA’s multilingual services, available through the Funeral Assistance Helpline, has provided assistance in 76 different languages when requested by the caller.

Eligible applicants may qualify for up to $9,000 for each deceased individual per application, with a maximum of $35,000 for families who may have multiple funeral expenses due to COVID-19. Since the assistance began on April 12, 2021, the average amount of assistance awarded is $6,500.

The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the President’s American Rescue Plan gave FEMA the authority to provide COVID-19 funeral assistance and provided the funds for this program.

Additional information, including eligibility requirements, can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov. People who incurred funeral expenses related to a COVID-19-related death in the United States or its territories on or after Jan. 20, 2020, can also apply by calling 888-684-6333, Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EDT.

“Applications” in the chart below reflect the number of individuals who called to begin the assistance process. Please find state-specific information below:

 

State / Territory

Applications

Amount Approved

Number of Awards

Alabama

10,409

$47,592,838.29

6,950

Alaska

348

$1,058,166.34

205

American Samoa

Less than 10

$6,488.60

Less than 10

Arizona

8,588

$25,694,432.08

5,272

Arkansas

5,182

$21,344,298.98

3,405

California

38,086

$168,036,566.34

26,054

Colorado

4,099

$13,048,543.12

2,351

Connecticut

4,536

$23,257,962.44

3,353

Delaware

1,320

$5,726,336.69

885

District Of Columbia

1,023

$4,487,166.20

673

Florida

31,612

$125,059,053.64

22,318

Georgia

18,034

$84,172,597.15

12,136

Guam

27

$84,924.00

12

Hawaii

518

$1,778,411.50

299

Idaho

1,748

$6,019,567.77

1,062

Illinois

17,928

$83,081,807.17

12,127

Indiana

10,033

$42,000,641.96

6,000

Iowa

4,078

$19,046,269.64

2,647

Kansas

4,006

$16,217,233.25

2,491

Kentucky

8,359

$37,607,621.78

5,198

Louisiana

8,369

$39,383,106.44

5,732

Maine

860

$2,644,395.80

486

Maryland

7,392

$32,185,153.74

4,777

Massachusetts

8,791

$37,950,812.16

5,486

Michigan

16,593

$68,650,389.77

11,157

Minnesota

4,721

$19,825,792.59

2,946

Mississippi

7,290

$32,836,209.34

4,870

Missouri

9,915

$40,579,096.22

6,471

Montana

1,236

$4,532,322.79

891

Nebraska

2,109

$9,353,642.01

1,340

Nevada

4,411

$14,298,694.61

2,681

New Hampshire

903

$3,522,982.17

591

New Jersey

15,223

$72,541,952.99

10,561

New Mexico

2,858

$8,690,638.82

1,678

New York

35,497

$168,611,126.44

24,677

North Carolina

14,913

$64,842,965.37

9,873

North Dakota

1,310

$6,936,490.06

923

Northern Mariana Islands

26

$34,484.00

Less than 10

Ohio

20,123

$84,724,770.89

13,054

Oklahoma

6,846

$28,568,581.02

4,489

Oregon

1,985

$5,129,560.56

1,129

Pennsylvania

22,580

$102,447,169.86

15,503

Puerto Rico

2,073

$4,844,759.02

1,310

Rhode Island

1,646

$8,179,109.83

1,197

South Carolina

10,166

$45,974,321.00

6,730

South Dakota

1,245

$6,470,665.97

884

Tennessee

13,771

$62,230,078.49

9,091

Texas

41,511

$189,568,290.36

29,058

U.S. Virgin Islands

66

$256,424.30

41

Utah

2,210

$9,639,857.08

1,387

Vermont

183

$629,468.69

111

Virginia

9,847

$41,800,291.86

6,243

Washington

3,548

$11,138,812.45

2,064

West Virginia

3,398

$14,341,807.81

2,111

Wisconsin

7,869

$32,506,181.05

4,903

Wyoming

653

$2,401,273.07

441

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Last updated March 15, 2022