With many losing loved ones to the recent COVID-19 pandemic, some families were caught off guard. Not only were funerals, memorials, and other honorary services different, but the sudden spread of the virus put many in financial straights. FEMA has recently made funds available to reimburse those who lost loved ones and paid out funeral and burial expenses. Beginning APRIL 12, 2021, if you advanced funeral expenses for a COVID related death, you may be able to recoup those expenses up to a certain threshold.
What funeral expenses are covered?
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. Any receipts received for expenses that are not related to funeral services will not be determined eligible expenses. Expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation typically include, but are not limited to:
Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
Transfer of remains
Casket or urn
Burial plot or cremation niche
Marker or headstone
Clergy or officiant services
Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
Use of funeral home equipment or staff
Cremation or interment costs
Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:
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 must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
How do I submit a claim?
You must gather the following and contact the Hotline at :
Certified copy of the death certificate;
Funeral expenses document (receipt, paid in full statement, etc.)
Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. (As FEMA cannot duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.)
More information is available here: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq
FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number
Applications begin on April 12, 2021 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time