Federal Government Will Help Pay for COVID-Related Funeral Expenses
Last updated April 12, 2021
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) launched a reimbursement program to help those who lost loved ones during the pandemic. Anyone with COVID-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 may be eligible for a reimbursement of up to $9,000.
FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance will help cover the cost of funeral services, burial, or cremation—including a casket or urn, funeral home expenses, burial plot, marker or headstone, and clergy services.
You can apply FEMA says, if the funeral expenses were for a death that “may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.” You will need documentation of those expenses that shows your name (i.e. receipts).
Funeral homes cannot apply on behalf of a family or be a co-applicant. The person applying must be an individual, not a business, who incurred the funeral expenses.
You cannot apply for funeral reimbursement money online. You need to call FEMA’s dedicated COVID-19 Funeral Assistance line at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). Hours of operation are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. FEMA says to expect the call will take about 20 minutes.
Note: FEMA is reporting technical issues caused by the high volume of calls. Don’t worry, there’s no deadline.
Fraud alert: FEMA warns that scammers are already contacting people offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA will never contact anyone unless they have already registered for funeral assistance.
Contributing editor Herb Weisbaum (“The ConsumerMan”) is an Emmy award-winning broadcaster and one of America's top consumer experts. He is also the consumer reporter for KOMO radio in Seattle. You can also find him on Facebook, Twitter, and at ConsumerMan.com.