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.

More Info: FEMA's website has instructions on how to apply and a detailed Q&A.


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