Funeral Assistance of up to $9,000 Available for COVID-19 Related Deaths

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. To assist families financially, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will offer assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. Assistance of up to $9,000 per funeral is available regardless of household income.

Who is eligible to apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance?

Any U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020, is eligible is apply. The person applying must be an individual, not a business, who incurred funeral expenses.

The funeral must have occurred in the United States, and the death certificate must indicate that the death was caused by, may have been caused by, or was likely a result of COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.

If COVID-19 is not listed on the death certificate, families may request an amendment to qualify for financial assistance. This process starts with contacting the person who certified the death. This may be a treating doctor, a coroner, or a medical examiner. This person’s name is on the death certificate.

What funeral expenses are covered?

COVID-19 funeral assistance is available for funeral services and interment or cremation. Expenses for funeral services and internment or cremation typically include, but are not limited to:

  • Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual;
  • 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;
  • Cremation or interment costs;
  • Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates; and
  • Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances.

Pre-planned and pre-paid funerals

Any source of payment designated specifically to pay for a funeral in anticipation of a future death cannot be reimbursed under this assistance. This includes burial or funeral insurance, a pre-paid funeral contract, a pre-paid trust for funeral expenses, or an irrevocable trust for Medicare.

How do you apply?

Applicants should call FEMA’s toll-free COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Online applications are not accepted, and funeral homes are not eligible to apply on behalf of families.

Help is available

The attorneys at O’Reilly Rancilio are available to answer your questions regarding COVID-19 and the law. For more information please call 586-726-1000 or visit our website.

Categories: Covid 19