Because the Federal Government recognizes COVID-19 has brought tremendous grief to so many Americans, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
How do I know if I qualify?
To qualify for funeral expense reimbursement, you must:
- Live in the U.S.;
- Have paid for a funeral, burial, and/or memorial service after January 20, 2020 (or, if your deceased loved one’s estate paid for the funeral, be the Executor of the estate);
- Your deceased loved one must have died in the U.S.; and
- His/her death must have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.
How do I obtain the relief?
You need to call the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Hotline directly. The number and hours are noted below. Though hold times can vary, the application process takes about 20 minutes once you get someone on the phone.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number(s): 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST
Make sure to have the following information available when you call:
- A copy of the death certificate
The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or “COVID-19-like symptoms”. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution. (Please note that if the death certificate does not state this but may have resulted from COVID, it is possible to have it fixed so that it is in the proper format listed above.)
- Proof of funeral expenses incurred
These items include receipts, funeral home contracts, etc. and must include the applicant’s name as the person responsible for the expense, the deceased individual’s name, the total amount of funeral expenses, and that funeral expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020; and
- Proof of assistance received from any other source
The applicant must also provide proof of funds received from other sources specifically used for funeral costs. FEMA may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government programs or agencies, or other sources. The amount provided by FEMA will be reduced by the amount of other assistance the applicant received for the same expenses.
BEWARE: We have heard reports of fraudsters soliciting grieving families offering to register them for this funeral assistance to steal their personal identifying and sensitive information. FEMA does not contact people before they register for assistance, so you must apply directly through FEMA, not through any entity or person offering to assist you.
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