COVID-19 FUNERAL ASSISTANCE The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted and devastated the country over the course of two years. A lot of families have witnessed the death of their near and loved ones. As per the reports of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention around a million people have died due to COVID-19 complications.
While mourning the loss of a family member a lot of families failed to arrange the funeral costs. To assist needy families during the COVID-19 pandemic the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provided a lot of funeral assistance funding opportunities for people to cover the funeral costs provided they have lost their families due to COVID-19 or complications resulting from COVID-19.
Highlights of this Post
What Are the Eligibility Criteria And Documents Required To Qualify For FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program?
The FEMA COVID-19 funeral assistance is still provided to eligible candidates on fulfilling the following criteria
- Applicants are citizens of the United States, non-citizen nationals or qualified non-citizens. Temporary work visa holders and foreign students are not eligible to apply.
- Prove that the applicant has paid the funeral expenses of their family member after 20th January 2020.
- The death of a family member was caused due to COVID-19 situation. Also if the deceased person’s death occurred between 20 January and 16th May 2020 then it should be accompanied by a signed document or statement from the local medical examiner or original certifier of the death certificate or coroner from the jurisdiction in which the deceased person died and it must be listed that the cause of the death was because of COVID-19. The signed statement should provide a causal pathway and additional explanation connecting the cause of death listed on the person’s death certificate to COVID-19.
- The death occurred in the United States of America including the District of Columbia and US territories
- Applicants must prove they were responsible for the eligible funeral expenses incurred on or after 28 January 2020.
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To prove your eligibility you need to provide the following list of documents to the FEMA
- Certified copies of the death certificate of the individual who has died either directly or indirectly due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Official document showing the name of the deceased person
- Document showing the funeral expense and containing the name of the applicant. For instance the applicant’s name, the name of the deceased person, the amount of funeral expenses included in the receipts or funeral home contract and the date when the funeral expenses were paid.
- Proof of funds received from other sources to cover funeral costs for instance government programs, voluntary agencies or other sources. FEMA will not duplicate benefits that you have received from funeral or burial insurance or assistance that you have received through other sources and government agencies.
- The date on which the funeral occurred.
- A signed statement from the person who certified the death certificate between 20th January to 16th May 2020 or from the coroner or local medical examiner to attribute the death of the person to COVID-19.
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How To Apply For FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program?
Applications for FEMA COVID-19 funeral assistance program are submittable through phone and you can reach out to the organization by dialing 844-684-6333. There is currently no online option for making the procedure faster.
To apply for this program you need to visit the FEMA COVID-19 funeral assistance page and read the instructions carefully including eligibility criteria, the application procedure and the document that you need to submit.
The applications are taken over the phone and in case you have any questions or doubts you can check out the FEMA COVID-19 federal assistance official web page for frequently asked questions. FEMA representatives will answer your questions by phone from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM between Monday to Friday. The application procedure to receive federal assistance from FEMA takes around 20 minutes.
FEMA employs nearly 5000 call center agents who are trained especially to assist individuals who are experiencing the loss of a loved one and require financial support to get funeral assistance and guidance through the application procedure. Once you complete the application procedure by phone you need to upload necessary documents to the Disasterassistance.gov account or fax the documents to 855-261-3452.
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Who cannot apply for funeral assistance?
- A child who is not a citizen of the US and applying for an adult is not eligible for this facility. But a US citizen child can avail this offer if they are directly related to the covid-19 death funeral.
- Businesses, states, organizations and tribes are not qualified for enjoying the funeral facilities.
There are few aliens who don’t come under FEMA assistance such as the following-
- Foreign students
- Citizen of Palau, states of Micronesia, Marshall Island
- Tourist visa holders for temporary period
- Work visa holders for shorter time
Can I apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance for more than one death? Is there a limit?
FEMA has come forward to bear the expenses of Covid-19 deaths funerals on or after 20th January, 2020. As we all know, Covid-19 has brought so many deaths and grief among people, FEMA is trying to help them before, during as well as after the disaster.
FEMA aims to provide help to needy people and gets support from different forums like under the act of American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and so many. You can get funeral financial assistance for low income to reduce your burden.
If you want to receive multiple death assistance due to covid then you must be a US citizen. You can get upto minimum of $9000 for an individual and $35000 for maximum amount.
Can I apply online For Fema Funeral Assistance?
When you apply for a FEMA facility, you’ll get a specific FEMA number and you can send your documents in different ways too. There are several assistance available to help you if you face any difficulties while applying. It will take only 20 minutes to complete the full application process.
- Upload your identity proof and documents on their official website.
- You can mail them.
- You also can fax them too.
You need to display the identity proof and other documents as well as the death certificates which shows the death has been occurred by covid. No online applications are accepted as you can mail them, fax them or even call them.
What funeral expenses are covered by FEMA?
There are different facilities for covid-19 funeral assistance which includes:
- Transfer of other remains
- Funeral services
- Transportation cost for upto two person to identify the deceased ones
- Casket of urns
- Burial plots
- Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
- Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
- Use of funeral home equipment or staff
- Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates.
What Is The Deadline To Apply For FEMA Funeral Assistance?
While the public health emergency ended on 11th May 2023 the federal government announced that it will continue to offer federal assistance to eligible applicants until 30th September 2025 provided the applicants have lost a loved one or a family member due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Once you apply for FEMA assistance to cover the funeral cost you have 365 days to complete the application and submit the requested materials and documents. As per FEMA, the agency will not provide financial support that duplicates any funding source designated particularly to pay for the funeral before the mentioned date. To learn more about the eligibility criteria you can consult the FEMA agency by calling 844-684-633-334.
The COVID-19 pandemic has affected more lives of more than 900,000 Americans. The pandemic made the situation more critical for thousands of families who faced the financial stress of putting a loved one to rest after death. To assist these families the United States federal government provided financial support to individuals who paid for the end-of-life costs or funeral expenses due to COVID-19. The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 and Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriation Act of 2021 established funds to cover funeral expenses for eligible families who lost a loved one due to COVID-19. If you have lost a family member due to the pandemic then you can cover the funeral expenses by contacting the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What can I do to avoid delays in processing my COVID-19 funeral assistance application?
You need to display the identity proof and other documents as well as the death certificates which shows the death has been occurred by covid. Once you apply for this, the verification will start for further procedure of assistance.
Can I apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance even though I’ve already applied for a recent disaster event?
You need to call the FEMA helpline no. to avail covid-19 funeral assistance for the application process and related queries. You can apply for assistance under FEMA disaster assistance for your home and personal properties, damage and other funeral expenses for a death that occurred due to COVID-19 during or after 20th January,2020.
Can I Cover All Expenses Using the FEMA Funeral Assistance Program?
The expenses that can be covered by FEMA funds include transportation costs to carry the deceased, casket or urn or earned, burial port, transfer of remains, use of a funeral home, cremation and many more.
How Much Assistance Can You Receive Through FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program?
As of February 2020, FEMA distributed more than $1.78 million in federal assistance programs and health assistance to more than 273,000 Americans. The program grants office assistance up to $9000 per funeral with maximum assistance up to $35500 per application. In other words you can receive more if you have experienced death of more than one person in your household.