Editor’s note: this news release was distributed by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES). Click here to view a printer-friendly version of this news release on the Cal OES website.
SACRAMENTO, Calif, – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now accepting applications for funeral assistance and reimbursement through its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
Expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation typically include, but are not limited to:
- Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
- Transfer of remains
- Casket or urn
- Burial plot or cremation niche
- Marker or headstone
- Clergy or officiant services
- Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
- Use of funeral home equipment or staff
- Cremation or interment costs
- Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
- Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances.
Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state.
Apply for Assistance:
To begin the application process, individuals can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585. The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.
Find a checklist of documentation needed prior to your call by clicking here.
To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet the following 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 personto have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
A minor child cannot apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
Once an applicant has applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and is provided an application number, they may provide supporting documentation to FEMA a few ways:
- Upload to their DisasterAssistance.gov account
- Fax documents: 855-261-3452
- Mail documents: P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782
If you are eligible for funeral assistance, you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.
At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will communicate a specific deadline once established.
Learn more about the reimbursement process or FAQs by visiting FEMA’s website.
Applicants can also access a video overview of the process here.