Funeral assistance available for COVID-19 victims

Local News

(WKRG) — As a result of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for funeral costs specifically related to Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020, at a 100 percent federal cost-share. This assistance is a category of the Other Needs Assistance provision of FEMA’s Individual Assistance (IA), Individuals and Households Program.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Interim Policy
• Funeral Assistance will be implemented by FEMA nationwide on April 12, 2021.
• FEMA will administer this program at the National level working with states, territory, tribal and Washington D.C. leaders on its delivery with the decedent’s place of death dictating which disaster declaration applies.
• Tribal members will be eligible to apply through the state, territorial, or Washington, D.C. major disaster declarations for COVID-19.
• Tribal governments may continue to coordinate directly with their FEMA Regional Offices on any issues pertaining to the program and/or member inquiries.
• Because this is a federally managed and administered program, payments are direct to individuals across the nation, regardless of which declaration applies.

General conditions of eligibility
• 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 decedent to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
• FEMA must be able to verify the applicant’s identity.
• Funeral expenses must be incurred by the applicant after January 20, 2020.
• The death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.
• The death must be attributed to COVID-19 in the state or territory in which the death occurred, as
indicated on the death certificate.
• Funeral expenses must not be covered by another source (i.e., funeral or burial insurance, financial
assistance from voluntary agencies, other applicable government programs/agencies, or other entities).

Documentation requirements
• Applicants must submit all required documentation before FEMA will award Funeral
Assistance.
• Death certificate: The death certificate must indicate the death “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.
• Proof of funeral expenses: Documentation (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include the applicant’s name as the responsible person for the expense, the decedent’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and that funeral expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020.
• Insurance or other funeral benefits: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

Funeral Assistance Awards
• Funeral expenses will be reimbursed up to a maximum amount of $9,000 per decedent.
• FEMA will only award funeral assistance for a decedent on a single registration. If two individuals
contribute toward funeral expenses, they should register under a single registration as applicant and coapplicant. If individuals do not apply under the same registration, the assistance will only be provided to the applicant who provided all of the documentation first.
• This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of
$35,500 per registration per state or territory.
• Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.
• Any assistance received from another source will be deducted from the funeral assistance award.
• An applicant may apply for multiple decedents under a single registration or multiple registrations for deaths that occurred in different states or territories.

Funeral Assistance Process
• Beginning April 12, 2021, once individuals have all of the information and documentation ready to send to FEMA, they may call FEMA at 1-844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
• FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline Hours of Operation are Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Central Time
• No on-line registrations will be accepted
• Documents may be mailed, or faxed to FEMA or uploaded with a disasterassistance.gov account the applicant may establish after telephone registration is complete
• Mailing Address: P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782
• FAX: 855‐261‐3452
• For more information, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov

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