The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is still providing financial help to people who have paid COVID-19-related funeral costs for loved ones. FEMA has granted more than $2.1 billion in COVID-19 funeral assistance to qualifying applicants around the country since the program’s inception on April 1, 2021, but aid is still available for individuals who qualify.

“This program was designed to address the special financial issues that our country has faced as a result of the pandemic that has cost the lives of almost a million friends, family, and neighbors across the country,”

FEMA Funeral Assistance

Eligible applicants may receive up to $9,000 for each deceased individual per application, with a maximum of $35,000 available for families who may have several funeral expenditures as a result of COVID-19. Since the program’s inception on April 12, 2021, the average amount of aid granted has been $6,500.

Expenses Covered

Transportation to identify the deceased, burial plot, coffin or urn, transfer of remains, cremation, use of a funeral home, and other expenses may be covered by FEMA funds.

FEMA requests the following documentation to prevent fraud

  • A formal death certificate attributing the death directly or indirectly to Covid-19
  • Funeral expenditure documentation with the applicant’s name
  • Documentation proving the deceased person’s identity
  • Receipts for the number of expenses
  • The day the funeral happened

FEMA funeral assistance conditions of eligibility

Before granting Funeral Assistance, FEMA will verify the applicant’s eligibility. Applicants must meet the following criteria to be eligible for Funeral Assistance:

  • The applicant must be a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien. There is no requirement that the decedent is a citizen of the United States, a non-citizen national, or a qualified immigrant.
  • FEMA must be able to confirm the identification of the applicant.
  • The applicant must incur funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • Funeral expenses cannot be met by other means. Funeral or burial insurance, as well as financial aid from volunteer organizations, suitable government programs/agencies, or other groups, may be available
  • On the death certificate, a medical examiner, coroner, or other certifier indicated that COVID-19 played a role in the decedent’s death.
  • The death took place in the United States, including its territories and the District of Columbia.
  • For the same dead person, no other application got Funeral Assistance payments.

In reaction to the COVID-19 outbreak and its devastation, FEMA funeral assistance assists with expenditures associated with end-of-life care or final disposition. This assistance is provided through the National Disaster Distress Helpline (NDDHS), one of three national crisis helplines managed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

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