Over the course of the pandemic, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has stepped up to assist in covering funeral expenses for people in the United States who have died from COVID-19 and whose families may be struggling to get the money they need to bury their lost loved ones.
FEMA may cover up to $9,000 in assistance for services including cremation or burial, caskets or urns, funeral ceremonies, and more.
Families are eligible for the COVID-19 funeral fund if they meet these requirements:
- The deceased passed away inside the United States
- The official cause of death was COVID-19
- The deceased and the applicant are United States citizens, qualified non-citizens, or non-citizen nationals
- They are responsible for eligible funeral expenses that were incurred on or after January 20, 2020
What Documentation Does FEMA Need from the Applicant?
An applicant must provide the following documentation before FEMA processes their application:
- Your name
- Proof that you are responsible for the funeral expenses of the deceased
- Itemization of expenses
- An official copy of the death certificate that shows the date of death was on or after January 20, 2020, and that the cause of death was COVID-19
If your loved one’s death certificate was issued between January 20, 2020, and May 16, 2020, FEMA requires that the death certificate states that the cause of death was directly or indirectly caused by COVID-19. If this is not available, you must provide FEMA with a signed statement from the original person who certified the death certificate or a local coroner in the jurisdiction where the deceased died.
How To Apply
You cannot apply online for COVID-19 funeral expenses. You must apply over the phone with a FEMA representative. The process should take around 20 minutes to complete. Information needed during your meeting with the FEMA representative includes:
- The Social Security number and the date of birth of the person who passed away
- Your Social Security number and date of birth
- Your mailing address and phone number
- The deceased’s address when they died
- Bank account information for direct deposit
- Statement about any insurance policies that the deceased carried or if you have received any COVID-19 federal relief money
Learn more about this service on the FEMA website, or call 844-684-6333 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.
To get started on your estate plan or elder law planning, contact the Laiderman Law Firm.