One of the tragic and rarely talked about consequences of the pandemic has been the added financial burden families have had to shoulder after suffering the loss of a loved one to COVID-19. For many who were struggling before the pandemic or may have also suffered economic hardship due to the pandemic, this added expense is just too much. To help lighten the load, FEMA is offering COVID-19 funeral assistance. As much as $9,000 to help you lay your loved one to rest.
As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for funeral expenses due to a COVID-19 death that occurred after January 20, 2020.
You can claim up to $9,000 for an individual, or if you’ve lost more than one family member you can claim up to $35,000 for all.
To be eligible for assistance the death must have occurred in the U.S., the death certificate must state the cause of death was COVID-19, the person applying for the assistance must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien but the deceased does not need to be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.
You’ll need to supply copies of the official death certificate, funeral expense documents such as receipts or a funeral home contract that includes the deceased’s name and amounts and dates of expenses. You’ll also need to provide documentation of other funeral assistance you’ve received such as burial insurance, VA benefits or charitable organizations.
To apply, call 844-684-6333 Monday-Friday from 9AM-9PM Eastern. At this time, FEMA is not accepting applications online, but you can find additional information on their Funeral Assistance FAQ page. FEMA funeral assistance FAQs
Be aware that there are multiple scams claiming to be the FEMA Funeral Assistance program. If you’ve been contacted about the program prior to applying, please disregard. FEMA will not contact you unless you’ve applied. Also, while there is no deadline yet to apply, the program is sadly proving to be quite popular and funds are limited, so apply as soon as you can.