The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering to provide financial relief for COVID-19-related funeral expenses as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
The agency will start accepting applications as early as April 1.
The death should have occurred after January 20, 2020 in the United States, including U.S. territories.
The death certificate should attribute the death to COVID-19.
There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien and applicants need to be U.S. citizens, non-citizen national or qualified alien. The key requirement is that you incurred the funeral expenses.
FEMA said it will provide up to $9,000 per funeral and for those who lost multiple family members to COVID-19 eligible to apply for up to $35,000.
“At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters,” said Acting FEMA
Administrator Bob Fenton in a news release. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate.”
According to FEMA, applicants can be reimbursed for costs related to funeral expenses and will include the following:
- Transportation for up to two people to identify the deceased individual
- Transfer of remains
- Casket or urn
- Burial plot or cremation niche
- Marker or headstone
- Clergy or officiant services and arrangement of the funeral ceremony
- Use of funeral home equipment or staff
- Cremation or interment costs
FEMA’s funeral assistance will however not reimburse costs that were already covered by other aid, including burial or funeral insurance, donations, or financial assistance received from other agencies, organizations or government programs.
Mshale has not been able to determine whether life insurance proceeds are considered aid, so if you received life insurance after a loved one’s death, we encourage you to still apply.
How and where to apply
Visit this FEMA site for the full list of requirements including documentation and how to apply: fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq