Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. FEMA will begin to implement this assistance in April, and assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.
The agency is currently working to set up a dedicated toll-free phone number that can be used to apply for funeral assistance.
To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the following conditions must be met:
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
- The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
Additionally, if multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals, but this assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
Applying for assistance
FEMA will begin accepting applications in April. If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, you will need the following documentation:
- 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 expenses 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 occurred.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. FEMA is unable to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.
If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.
For more information, visit the FEMA website.