FEMA to help families pay for COVID-19-related funerals

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it will help pay for funeral expenses related to COVID-19.

Beginning in early April, FEMA will pay families up to $9,000 for the funerals of people who died from COVID-19 complications. The maximum is higher for those applying for multiple funerals: $35,500.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate.”

FEMA has published details on what is required to receive the funeral assistance. The list includes:

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant.
  • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
  • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.  
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

Applicants will need the following documentation:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. 
  • Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs.  Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.

For more information about this assistance, visit the FEMA web site.

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