The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all of us in countless ways. Many of us have lost loved ones, friends, and family members. The human toll has been enormous, and if you have lost a loved one or friend to the virus, nothing will help ease that loss.
Not only has the pandemic brought overwhelming grief, it has also caused financial difficulties for many families which may have made it difficult to cover the costs associated with funerals of loved ones.
FEMA has a new program to help provide financial support to families who have lost loved ones due to COVID-19. FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
This program is made possible by the American Rescue Plan and the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021.
To be eligible for funeral assistance from FEMA, you must meet these conditions:
- The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
- There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
How to Apply
FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12. Applications will only be available by contacting FEMA’s free call center:
- COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Number: 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
- Open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time
FEMA representatives reached at this phone number will be available to help people complete their applications and multilingual services will be available. No online applications will be accepted. Due to demand, callers may experience delays when contacting the Funeral Assistance call center.
Documents Needed to Apply
People who have COVID-19 funeral expenses should gather documentation that will be needed to apply. Applicants will need to provide the following information when they call FEMA to register for assistance:
- Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual
- Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
- Current mailing address for the applicant
- Current telephone number for the applicant
- Location or address where the deceased individual passed away
- Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
- Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations
- CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations
- Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)
Beware of Scams
Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date or social security number of any deceased family member to any unsolicited telephone calls or emails from anyone claiming to be a federal employee or from FEMA. FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Program has controls in place to mitigate fraudulent activity. FEMA will not contact anyone until they have called FEMA or have applied for assistance.
If you doubt a FEMA representative is legitimate, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.