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Financial Help For Funeral Expenses For COVID-19-Related Deaths Available In April

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In early April, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for
deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the
pandemic. The policy was finalized today, and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance
program nationwide.

Eligibility

To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses
    after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19. (There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.) The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as
    applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the
    applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the
    deceased individual.
  • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
  • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the
    District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500
    per application.
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

Documentation Needed

In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime,
potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the
    U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of”
    COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are
    considered sufficient attribution.
  • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the
    deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were
    incurred.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may
    not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received
    from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other
    sources.

How Funds Are Paid

If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

Additional Information

More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov

FEMA Press Release regarding financial assistance for funeral expenses
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Author: Faith Huffman

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