Information provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency
On its website the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it is providing COVID-19 funeral cost relief for eligible individuals.
- applicant is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-citizen.
- the death occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia;
- the death was attributed to COVID-19; and
- applicant is responsible for the eligible funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020
FEMA may approve COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for expenses such as:
- 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
If the death certificate was issued between Jan. 20 and May 16, 2020, it must either 1) attribute the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 or 2) 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. This signed statement must provide an additional explanation or causal pathway, linking the cause of death listed on the death certificate to COVID-19.
FEMA said applicants must provide a signed funeral home contract, invoice, receipts, or other documentation that includes:
- your name, showing you are responsible for some or all expenses
- the name of the person who died
- itemized expenses
- proof that the expenses were incurred on or after Jan. 20, 2020
How Does it Work?
- To apply, call 844-684-6333 toll-free between 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday-Friday. FEMA representatives will take your application, and multilingual services are available. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance applications must be completed with a FEMA representative; you cannot apply online. It will take about 20 minutes to apply, and you must provide:
- Your Social Security number and date of birth
- The Social Security number and date of birth of the person who died
- Your current mailing address and telephone number
- The address where the individual died
- If the person who died had burial or funeral insurance policies
- If you received other funeral assistance (such as donations, CARES Act grants, state/territory assistance, or assistance from voluntary organizations)
- If you want eligible funds delivered by direct deposit, the routing and account number of your checking or savings account.
- After you apply, FEMA will provide you with an application number to create an account on DisasterAssistance.gov.
- You must submit supporting documents (e.g., funeral home contracts, receipts, invoices, death certificate) by:
- Upload to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
- Fax to 855-261-3452
- Mail to: P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782.
- Once FEMA receives all required documents, it takes approximately 45 days to make an eligibility decision.
- If FEMA approves your application for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, funds will be deposited to your bank account or sent by mail in the form of a Department of the Treasury check, depending on which option you choose during your application. Funds usually arrive within a few days of approval, and you will receive a notification letter.