Families who lost a loved one due to COVID-19 may qualify for some financial relief through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA is providing reimbursements of up to $9,000 per funeral to families who incurred funeral expenses due to a COVID-19-related death.
Read these FAQs to learn who is eligible, how to apply and more.
Who is Eligible?
U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals or qualified non-citizens responsible for the funeral expenses are eligible to receive COVID-19 funeral assistance. The death must be attributed to COVID-19 and have occurred on or after Jan. 20, 2020, in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
What is Covered?
Qualifying expenses include:
- Funeral services
- Costs associated with producing death certificates
- Costs due to local or state government laws or ordinances
- Transportation for up to two people to identify the person who died
- Transfer of remains
- Casket or urn
- Burial plot
- Marker or headstone
- Funeral ceremony
- Funeral home equipment or staff
What is Required to Apply?
Applicants must provide FEMA with a copy of an official death certificate that validates eligibility.
If the death certificate was issued between Jan. 20, 2020, and May 16, 2020, it must either:
- Attribute the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 or
- Be accompanied by a signed statement from the original certifier of the death certificate, or the local medical examiner or coroner from the jurisdiction in which the death occurred, listing COVID-19 as a cause or contributing cause of death. The signed statement must provide an additional explanation or causal pathway, linking the cause of death listed on the death certificate to COVID-19.
Applicants must also provide FEMA with a signed funeral home contract, invoice, receipts or other documentation that includes:
- Applicant’s name, showing they are responsible for some or all the expenses
- The name of the person who died
- Itemized expenses
- Proof the expenses were incurred on or after Jan. 20, 2020
How Can I Apply?
To apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance, applicants must call 844.684.6333 to complete an application by phone with a FEMA representative. Applicants cannot apply online.
Applicants must have the following information ready:
- Applicant’s Social Security number and date of birth
- Social Security number and date of birth of the person who died
- Applicant’s current mailing address and telephone number
- Address where the individual died
- If the person who died had burial or funeral insurance policies
- If the applicant received other funeral assistance (such as donations, CARES Act grants, state/territory assistance or assistance from voluntary organizations)
- If the applicant wants the eligible funds delivered by direct deposit, please also have the routing and account number of their checking or savings account.
Once the application has been submitted via phone, FEMA will provide an application number to create an account on DisasterAssistance.gov and upload supporting documents. Applicants may also submit supporting documents via mail or fax using the information below:
- Fax number: 855.261.3452
- Mailing address: P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782
It takes approximately 45 days for FEMA to make an eligibility decision once they receive all the required documents.
How Will I be Reimbursed?
If your application is approved, funds will be deposited to your bank account or by a mailed check from the Department of Treasury, depending on which option you choose during your application.
Want to learn more about COVID-19 financial relief available to you or to obtain assistance?