The federal government recently announced that funeral assistance payments will be available for COVID-19 related deaths incurred after January 20, 2020. Applications for assistance are being accepted by FEMA as soon as April and can reimburse funeral and burial costs up to $9,000.
According to FEMA's website (www.fema.gov), COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will “assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.” 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
US citizens, as well as non-citizens and qualified aliens who paid for funeral expenses, may qualify for the assistance if the individual's death took place in the United States and may have been caused by or was a likely result of COVID-19.
According to FEMA's website, the toll-free number is 844-684-6333 (or 800-462-7585 for TTY) so that applications can be completed by phone with a FEMA representative starting April 12th. There are no online applications accepted.
If you believe you are eligible for this assistance, take this time to gather your documentation for when applications are accepted. To apply, you'll need to provide:
- Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual
- Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
- Current mailing address for the applicant
- Current telephone number for the applicant
- Location or address where the deceased individual passed away
- Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
- Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations
- CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations
- Routing and account number of the applicant's checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)
You'll also need to gather a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of assistance received from any other source.
For a complete outline of FEMA's assistance program as well as a complete list of requirements and documentation needed, please visit www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance
Should you need assistance with an estate of a loved one, or have more questions about how-to administer assets from an estate, please give our office a call for a complimentary consultation at 260-969-1177.