COVID-19 Funeral Assistance From FEMA
On April 12, 2021, FEMA began providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
In order to be eligible for funeral assistance, the following three conditions must be satisfied:
- The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- The death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant (i.e. the person applying for aid, not the decedent) must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020. There is no requirement that the decedent also meet such qualifications.
This is not a need-based program, and there is no requirement that the applicant be related to the decedent. You should note, however, that FEMA will generally only provide COVID-19 funeral assistance to one applicant per deceased individual, so if you plan on seeking reimbursement, make sure there is only one “responsible party” in connection with all funeral expenses. The limit on reimbursement is $9,000 per deceased individual; however, an applicant who has paid for multiple COVID-19 related funerals may receive reimbursement of up to $35,500.
If you plan on applying for assistance, you will need the following records:
- An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States.
- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the decedent’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs, such as benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources. FEMA won’t reimburse funds that have already been reimbursed by other sources.
Read more about the application process, what qualifies as a “funeral expense” and FAQ, on FEMA’s website.