Funeral assistance payments will be available from the federal government for Covid-19 related deaths in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
This Funeral Assistance program, administered by FEMA, will reimburse funeral and burial costs up to $9,000.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the national median cost for a funeral in 2019, including viewing and burial, was $7,640.
FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, is expected to start taking applications for reimbursements in April.
FEMA’s allowable expenses for funeral services, interment, or cremation “include, but are not limited to:, transportation for up to two individuals to identify the decedent; transfer of remains; casket or urn; burial plot or cremation niche; marker or headstone; clergy or officiant services; arrangement of the funeral ceremony; use of funeral home equipment or staff; interment; costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates; and additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances.”
Funeral expenses covered by other sources such as funeral or burial insurance or financial assistance from voluntary agencies, applicable government programs/agencies, or other entities are not eligible for reimbursement.
To apply, you will need to provide:
- ID and documentation to show your relationship to the deceased and that you are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
- An official death certificate that states the death was directly or indirectly related to COVID-19 and that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, or the District of Columbia.
- Documentation of the funeral and burial costs with the name of the person applying for assistance, the deceased person’s name, the total funeral expenses, and the dates when the funeral expenses occurred. Expenses can only have been incurred after January 20, 2020.
- Documentation of assistance or payments received from other sources such as burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, and government agencies.
For more information, contact FEMA. But note applications will not be taken until April, 2021. https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance