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COVID Funeral Benefits

Other Health & Benefit Issues

FEMA can help pay for COVID-related funerals.

FEMA will pay up to $9,000 in funeral costs for those who died of COVID-19. To apply, call 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). You can apply for help with multiple funerals with one application.

How much will FEMA cover under COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?

  • $9,000 per funeral
  • $35,500 per application, per state/district/territory

What costs qualify?

  • The cost of a casket
  • Clergy services
  • Use of a funeral home
  • Headstone and burial plot
  • Transportation for up to two people to identify the deceased person
  • Transfer of remains
  • Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
  • Use of funeral home equipment or staff
  • Cremation or interment costs
  • Death certificates
  • Other expenses to meet state or local government requirements

What funerals qualify?

FEMA may reimburse funeral expenses if the death was related to COVID-19. Costs must be incurred after January 20, 2020. The death certificate must say the death was caused by or may have been caused by COVID-19.

It is possible to change the certificate to list COVID-19 as a cause of death. Contact the person who certified the death. This may be a treating doctor, a coroner, or a medical examiner. The name and address of the person who certified the death should be on the death certificate. Applicants may also present other evidence to FEMA that the death was because of COVID-19.

What are the immigration status and location requirements?

FEMA will pay funeral assistance to applicants who are citizens, noncitizen nationals or qualified aliens. If you do not fit into one of those categories, you may wish to speak with an immigration attorney before applying for FEMA assistance.

You can still apply for assistance for funeral expenses for people who died from COVID-19 but are not U.S. citizens, non-citizen nationals, or qualified aliens. However, FEMA will not pay funeral assistance for those who died outside the United States or a U.S. territory. If the person died outside of those areas, you may wish to consult with an attorney before applying for FEMA assistance.

Can I apply if I am under 18?

Yes. You can still get FEMA Funeral Assistance if you are under 18. However, you must have personally paid for the funeral. Only the person that personally paid for the funeral can get this money.

What if more than one person paid for the funeral?

FEMA will only grant one application for each person who died. However, there can be co-applicants. Everyone who paid for the funeral can submit expenses in one application. The total assistance amount for the funeral is limited to $9,000 per funeral, no matter the number of co-applicants.

What if I paid for the funeral of more than one person?

If you paid for the funeral of more than one person who died of COVID-19, FEMA may pay for the funeral expenses of each person. The limit for each person who died is $9,000 per person who died. However, the limit is $35,500 per application for each state, territory, or District of Columbia. If you paid for funerals in more than one state or territory, submit a separate application for each state or territory.

What documents do I need to apply?

Receipts and papers about the funeral, such as:

  • An official death certificate that says the death was from COVID-19 and and that the person died in the United States or its territories.
  • Receipts, contracts, and other documents from the funeral provider. The documents should include the applicant's name, the deceased's name, the expense amounts, and expense dates.

What if I got other help paying for the funeral?

FEMA is not able to provide duplicate benefits. It cannot pay for expenses that another group has already paid. This includes money from charities, GoFundMe, and insurance policies.

If you got help from non-FEMA sources that did not cover all expenses, you will need to tell FEMA. Your application should include any documents that show how much other help from other sources you received.

My parents had to bury a relative, but aren’t eligible. I’m eligible but I’m under 18. Can I apply on their behalf?

No. Only the people who actually paid for the funeral can apply. If you are under 18 and didn’t pay for the funeral, you cannot apply for benefits.

I recently got FEMA benefits for another disaster. Can I still get funeral benefits?

Funeral benefits are separate from other disaster benefits. You can still apply for funeral benefits even if you received FEMA benefits for a different emergency, such as a hurricane.

How do I apply?

You must start your application over the phone. Call 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, US Central Time.

You can apply for help with multiple funerals with one application.

Further Resources

Watch a video:

This video from Lone Star Legal Aid talks about COVID-19 funeral benefits.

Related Articles

Related Forms

  • COVID FEMA Funeral Assistance Tool

    COVID Funeral Assistance Tool

    Apply for COVID funeral benefits. Created by Lone Star Legal Aid.