Help Paying for Funeral Costs

In early April, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. 

FEMA will begin accepting applications for Funeral Assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021  through their dedicated call center at 844-684-6333. There is no deadline to apply. 

Call the dedicated toll-free phone number (844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585) to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services will be available.

Fraud Alert: FEMA has received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA has not sent any such notifications and we do not contact people before they register for assistance.

What you can do to prepare:

  • Gather your documentation now
    • Being prepared will help the application process go as smoothly as possible. See below for more information. 
  • Please be patient when applying
    • FEMA anticipates high call volume in the first days of the program. There is currently no end date to the application period, and FEMA does not intend to rush through calls to ensure each applicant is treated with empathy and respect. 

More information regarding this program is available at: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

Download a guide to the program here: https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/download/funeral-assistance-briefing

Haga clic aquí para obtener información en Español: https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/download/funeral-assistance-spanish


Who is eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance?

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
    • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual. 
  • 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.
    • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • 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.

More details regarding eligibility are available here.


What documentation do potential applicants need?

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19 like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
  • 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 the 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.


How will applicants receive funds?

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.


Additional Information and Resources

For more information about the FEMA funeral assistance program, please visit: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

For general information and resources about Coronavirus, please visit: https://www.baldwin.senate.gov/coronavirus-resources


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