FEMA Offers Federal Assistance to Help Families Cover Funeral Costs

Up to $9,000 in aid may be available for those who suffered the loss of a loved one from COVID-19

We are truly sorry for your loss and know that with an unexpected loss it can be especially difficult, as there may not have been a plan in place or funds to cover expenses. Beyond the financial impact, we've also seen firsthand the emotional strain placed on families who had to memorialize and grieve a loved one in isolation, without the support of family and friends.

Thankfully, two pieces of legislation were recently passed by Congress that authorizes FEMA to provide up to $9,000 in financial assistance to families that incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses after January 20, 2020. Funeral assistance is intended to help with funeral expenses related to funeral services and interment or cremation. This funding may also apply to those who have not yet held a service or have been waiting on funding to purchase other funeral- andcremation-related merchandise such as headstones, urns and cremation niches.

If you're ready to begin the application process or need more information, FEMA has established a dedicated phone number and website to assist you:

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number
844-684-6333 ● TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT

https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq

Contact us if you have additional questions about this funding or would like to talk to one of our knowledgeable advisors about hosting a service or purchasing funeral-related merchandise. We realize the past year has been hard for everyone, but more so for the families who suffered the loss of a loved one. We're here to help you through this process.

Some of the documents you'll need to apply include:

  • Official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States.
  • Funeral expense documentation such as receipts or a funeral home contract that includes the individual’s name, amount spent and the date of the expenses.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically used toward funeral costs.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • When can we apply?
    Individuals can begin applying for COVID-19 funeral assistance starting April 12, 2021 for anyone that incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

    As of right now, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance.
  • How do I apply?
    You will need to apply with the help from FEMA's representatives through a dedicated toll-free phone number. Multilingual services will be available.

    COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number
    844-684-6333 ● TTY: 800-462-7585
    Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT
  • How much can we receive?
    Funding is available to cover funeral expenses up to $9,000.
  • Can I get funding for multiple funerals?
    Yes, if you were responsible for the funeral expenses for multiple people you will be able to apply for funding with the understanding that assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory or District of Columbia.
  • What funeral expenses are covered?
    Funding covers expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation, which includes:
    • 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
  • Can I receive funding if I haven't had a service yet?
    According to FEMA's current guidelines, families that incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, may qualify for funding to cover costs for funeral-related services and expenses, including cremation.
  • What's not covered?
    Applicant(s) who received outside assistance for funeral expenses through the following, cannot submit those covered expenses for reimbursement through the FEMA program, including:
    • Government agencies
    • Voluntary agencies
    • Non-profits
    • Burial or funeral insurance

    Please Note:
    If applicants received any outside assistance, they must include documentation of that assistance. Expenses not covered by a prepaid funeral can be submitted for reimbursement. Traditional life insurance is not considered outside assistance (like a prepaid funeral policy is) and does not prevent application.
  • What documents will I need to submit to get funding?
    To get funding, you'll need:
    • Official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States.
    • Funeral expense documentation such as receipts or a funeral home contract that includes the individual's name, amount spent and the date of the expenses.
    • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically used toward funeral costs.

    In addition, you'll need the following information when you register:
    • Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual
    • Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
    • Current mailing address for the applicant
    • Current telephone number for the applicant
    • Location or address where the deceased individual passed away
    • Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
    • Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations
    • CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations
    • Routing and account number of the applicant's checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)

You can find answers to more questions from the FEMA Funeral Assistance website:

https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq#apply