FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) provides up to $9,000 to reimburse anyone who paid for funeral costs associated with a death caused by COVID-19. This article will summarize the application process. For more detailed information, review FEMA’s Funeral Assistance FAQ.
Who is eligible for funeral assistance?
There is no income limit for receiving the benefit.
To be eligible, you must meet three FEMA requirements. You must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national, or qualified alien. You must have paid the funeral expenses of a person who died in the United States, U.S. territories, or the District of Columbia after January 20, 2020. The death “may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.”
What costs are covered?
FEMA will cover costs for funeral services and costs for burial or cremation. If you received financial assistance from another source, FEMA will reduce your funeral assistance by the amount you received.
How do I apply?
FEMA is not accepting online applications. To apply for funeral assistance, you must call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line, Monday through Friday, between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The toll free number is 844-684-6333; the TTY, 800-462-7585. A FEMA representative will help you fill out the application during the phone conversation. You will be asked for your Social Security number, date of birth, and current mailing address; as well as the Social Security number, date of birth, and place of death of the person whose funeral expenses you paid. Be sure to write down your application number.
What is the deadline for applying?
There is NO deadline for filing your application.
What documents do I need to include with my application?
You will need to include a copy of the death certificate and copies of funeral expenses that include your name, as the person responsible for the bill, the name of the person who died, the amount of expense, and the date. Send these documents to FEMA by mail (P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782), by fax (855-261-3452), or by upload from a DisasterAssistance.gov account.
How much can I receive for funeral assistance?
You can receive up to $9,000 either by check or by direct deposit to a checking or savings account to cover funeral costs for each COVID-19 related death.
If my application is rejected, can I appeal?
If FEMA does not approve your application, you have 60 days from the date you receive the decision letter to file an appeal. Your appeal should explain why the decision is not correct, and must include any documents that support your application. Be sure to sign the appeal and include the application number on every page. The appeal can be sent to FEMA by mail (P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782), by fax (855-261-3452), or by upload from a DisasterAssistance.gov account.
This information last reviewed: Apr 28, 2021