The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now accepting applications for funeral assistance and reimbursement due to Covid-19.
“We appreciate FEMA making this assistance available to families who have experienced a tragic loss during the pandemic,” said Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health. “We want to ensure our community is aware of this valuable resource and has the information needed to pursue it.”
FEMA’s mission is helping people before, during and after disasters. Many families have experienced devastating loss during the pandemic and they hope to mitigate the additional financial burdens.
The assistance can help with funeral and burial expenses, or cremation; such as, transportation of the remains, the casket or urn, marker or headstone, clery or officiant services, and use of funeral home equipment and staff.
To be eligible to receive assistance, the death must have occurred in the United States, the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19, and 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 that the deceased person have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or immigrant.
FEMA recommends that applicants gather important documents. This includes the official death certificate, funeral expenses document that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
“It is important to gather all necessary information and documentation before applying for assistance. This will help us take the application and process it in a timely manner,” the agency said.
In order to apply, call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585.
The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.
The application will be completed with help from FEMA’s representatives. If needed, multilingual services are also available.
Applications are not accepted online. They estimate it takes 20 minutes to complete the call and apply.
Once a person applies they are given an application number and are tasked to provide the supporting documentation through a DisasterAssistance.gov account, fax, or mail.
Applicants are able to receive assistance for the funeral expenses of multiple deceased individuals but assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral.
If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.
At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. For additional information, visit their website at
https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance or watch their explanation video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/DgvN_9m58Z0.