The catastrophic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has touched millions of families and individuals in countless ways, including financially — and the U.S. government wants to shoulder the responsibility of some of those costs. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it will reimburse funeral expenses to families that have lost members due to COVID-19, according to its website, Black Enterprise reported.
“Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020. We are working with stakeholder groups to get their input on ways we can best provide this assistance and to enlist their help with outreach to families and communities. FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April,” as quoted in the magazine.“Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.”
The following must be in place to obtain funeral assistance, which will be distributed via check by mail or by direct deposit.
- 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 was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or 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.
FEMA will begin accepting applications in April and if someone is responsible for funeral expenses due to COVID-19, they are encouraged to keep and obtain documentation to submit. FEMA will be looking for the following information:
- An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes 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.
The agency will provide a toll-free number for applicants to use on this page.