FEMA Is Providing COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. Here’s What You Need To Know.
The emergence of Covid-19 in the U.S. sparked an unprecedented public health crisis that caused grief and devastation at a level that is hard to appreciate. As a result of the many deaths caused by Covid-19, FEMA is now offering financial assistance for Covid-19 related funeral expenses.
Are Your Expenses Eligible For Assistance or Reimbursement?
According to FEMA, if you paid or owe funeral expenses, you are eligible for assistance under the following conditions:
- The funeral expenses must have been incurred after January 20, 2020.
- The 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.
- The applicant (in other words, the person who paid the expenses) must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
- Note that there is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
Documents that will be helpful:
- 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 include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
Note that FEMA says they will not duplicate any portion of funeral expenses that have already been covered from other sources such as burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, etc.
How to Apply
FEMA began accepting applications on April 12, 2021.
Currently, there is no direct web portal to apply. You must call a dedicated, toll-free phone number to complete a Funeral Assistance application; a FEMA representative will help you with the application, and multilingual services are available.
Covid-19 Funeral Assistance Line: 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours: Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern time
We’re Here To Help
We hope this federal assistance relieves some of the burden for those affected by Covid-19.
We know that, for many people, this will raise questions about how your own funeral will ultimately be handled. You can remove some of the stress and complexity of funeral arrangements by making certain decisions ahead of time.
- What will happen to your remains? Who controls them; will you be buried or cremated?
- What kind of funeral or burial will you have?
- How will your funeral expenses be covered?
Much of this can be determined in advance through estate planning, often with a directive in a will. See our pages on Wills and Estate Planning for more information. Whether you need help obtaining the documents to apply for FEMA assistance, or this has prompted you to get your own affairs in order, Holman Law is here to help. Contact us today to find out how we can help you through this process.
Steven C. Holman
Estate Planning and Elder Law Attorney
I love to spend time with my wife and three children and serving the Dallas Fort Worth community. I provide clients with a wealth of knowledge and experience navigating each individual’s Estate Planning needs including Trusts, Probate, Elder Care Law, and Long Term Care Planning. My law firm specializes in assisting clients with complicated legal forms and qualifying for the maximum Medicaid and Veteran (VA) benefits in Texas.