FEMA Launches COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

FEMA estimates that qualifying families can expect reimbursements of $3,000 to $7,000 out of the program’s total budget of $2 billion.

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet the following conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States;
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19; and
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, or qualified alien.

FEMA will begin accepting applications for funeral assistance in April 2021.  FEMA is still working out the details of this program, but encourages prospective applicants to start gathering the following documentation for the application:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States;
  • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened; and
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. FEMA will not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

If you have lost a loved one due to COVID-19 and have questions about the administration of your loved one’s affairs, please contact Carl D. Holborn, Kelly M. Condon, or Margarita A. Castaneda.

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