The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will provide financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred for deaths related to COVID-19. Beginning Monday, April 12, 2021, FEMA will begin to accept applications through a dedicated call center.
The assistance is a provision under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, which will cover up to $9,000 of verified expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. The aid is for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
Applications can only be taken over a dedicated assistance toll-free phone number, 844-684-6333, beginning on April 12, 2021. The phone line is staffed by FEMA Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time. A list of covered expenses, FAQs and more information can be found on FEMA’s funeral assistance webpage.
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
- If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant.
- An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
- This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
Documentation necessary during application process
After applying on the phone, applicants will need to submit supporting documentation, such as the following:
- An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. 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.
- 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 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.
For more information about this assistance, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov.
Beware of Scams
Will FEMA contact me to ask for personal information to register?
FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Program has controls in place to mitigate fraudulent activity. FEMA will not contact anyone until they have called FEMA or have applied for assistance. Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date or social security number of any deceased family member to any unsolicited telephone calls or e-mails from anyone claiming to be a federal employee or from FEMA.
If you doubt a FEMA representative is legitimate, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement agencies.
(source: County of San Bernardino news release)
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