On June 29, 2021, FEMA announced an update to their policy regarding death certificate information to determine reimbursement eligibility. If the death certificate does not attribute the death to COVID-19, you should submit a statement or letter from the medical examiner or coroner that attributes the death to COVID-19. This policy applies to deaths that occurred between January 20 and May 16, 2020.
We have all been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in one way or the other. For those who have lost a loved one due to the virus, the journey has been particularly difficult. So it came as a big relief to many when FEMA announced it would open its COVID-19 funeral expense reimbursement program. The program will help carry the financial burden of making funeral arrangements for family members who died from coronavirus.
The media has widely covered the FEMA program, but the program is so important, it’s well worth mentioning again. We hope that if you are reading this, you will take a moment to pass the information on to others who may deed the details. We’ve also covered this topic on the main Funeralwise website and will keep that page up-to-date as more details on the program are released.
To Apply for the FEMA COVID-19 Reimbursement Program
Call the FEMA Reimbursement Program hotline at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The call line is open Monday through Friday from 8 am – 8 pm CST. As might be expected, call volume is high. FEMA has advised that if you receive a busy signal, you should try again, however, there is no deadline to apply.
You will need some documentation for your claim.
- An official death certification that shows the death took place in the US and was related to COVID-19.
- Funeral expense documents showing the applicant’s name, the deceased’s name, the amount, and the date of the expenses.
- Proof of funds received from other sources, specifically those for funeral costs such as proceeds from funeral insurance. The program does not cover expenses for which funds were received from other sources or agencies.
Eligibility for the Program
- The death must have occurred in the United States and includes US territories and DC.
- The death certificate must indicate the death can be attributed to the virus.
- The applicant must be a US citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
- There is no requirement for the deceased to have been a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
If you have lost a loved one this year but have not been able to have a memorial, remember that it is never too late to hold a memorial.
To ease some of your Celebration of Life planning concerns, consider working with a Funeral Celebrant. These trained professionals can help you plan the perfect memorial service or funeral.
Are you looking for a Cremation Urn or memorial keepsake? Consider some of the beautiful items featured in the Funeralwise Memorial Store.