FEMA To Help Pay Funeral Costs for Deaths Related to COVID-19

FEMA will start taking applications April 12 for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy to help pay for funeral expenses. Photo Courtesy: Ballard Family Mortuary

Beginning April 12, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start taking applications for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy, which could provide up to $9,000 for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 has impacted many of our families and friends,” Hawai’i Emergency Management Administrator Luke Meyers said. “This assistance will help relieve some burden related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to FEMA’s guidance, COVID-19 funeral assistance will be available to applicants based on the following criteria and eligibilities.

  • The applicant must be a US citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
  • If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
  • An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
  • The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including US territories and the District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum amount of $35,500 per application.
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

A dedicated Funeral Assistance Line has been set up to help people apply. Applicants can dial 800-462-7585 or 844-684-6333, Monday-Friday from 3 am to 3 pm Hawaii Standard Time.

The line will be active beginning April 12, 2021. Until that time, applicants are encouraged to begin gathering the required documentation.

Applicants should have the following documentation gathered when they apply.

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
  • Funeral expense documents – receipts, funeral home contract, etc. – that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs.
  • Financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial programs or agencies, or other sources.

More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | The website will be continually updated.

For questions, please contact the FEMA Office of External Affairs:

  • Congressional Affairs at 202-646-4500 or
  • Intergovernmental Affairs at 202-646-3444 or
  • Tribal Affairs at 202-646-3444 or
  • Private Sector Engagement at

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