FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Expense Reimbursement Policy

Woman with mask and flowers

In June 2021, FEMA updated its Funeral Expense Reimbursement Policy. To read about the update click here. You can also visit the FEMA page for the latest information on the policy. 

Note: FEMA will begin accepting applications for COVID-19 funeral-related assistance on Monday, April 12, 2021. The application should be made by calling the agency’s dedicated telephone hotline.

Call: 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of operation are Monday through Friday from 8 am – 8 pm Central Time.

If you incurred expenses after January 20, 2020, for funeral expenses due to coronavirus (COVID-19), you may be eligible to receive assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Eligibility Requirements for FEMA COVID-19 Assistance

According to the FEMA COVID-19 information page, to be eligible for funeral assistance:

  • 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 can be attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

Documentation Requirements

Those applying will be required to submit documentation including:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19. The certificate should also show that the death occurred in the U.S., U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia. For deaths where the death certificate does not specific COVID-19 and the cause of death and the death occurred between January 20 and May 16, 2020, a statement or letter from the death certificate’s certifying official, medical examiner, or coroner that attributes the death to COVID-19 fatalities should be submitted.
  • Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.). The documents must include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. You cannot duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

Applicants may receive awards for funeral costs up to $9,000 for each COVID-19 related death up to a maximum award of $35,500. Award determinations may take into account Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance (LWA)up to $1,800. If applicants are eligible for more than $33,700, FEMA will work with the state to determine the amount of LWA funds the applicant received.

The deceased may only appear on one application. If multiple individuals contributed to the payment of funeral expenses, they must apply together

For more information regarding the FEMA COVID-19 program, visit one of the resources listed below or contact your local FEMA office.


>>FEMA POLICY: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Individuals and Households Program Policy (Interim)

>>FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Page


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