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FEMA Funeral Assistance

Families who have lost loved ones during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic have been hit hard. For many, it has been an unimaginably painful time both emotionally and financially. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing reimbursement of funeral, interment, and cremation expenses for COVID-19 related deaths.

FEMA does not permit your Aaron-Ruben-Nelson funeral director to submit documentation on your family's behalf, but we can help you document funeral costs. If we have a copy of your loved one's death certificate, we can provide that to you, too.

Here is what else you need to know about eligibility and applying for reimbursement under the FEMA funeral assistance program.

Is there a maximum amount that FEMA will reimburse for COVID-19 related funeral expenses?

The FEMA funeral reimbursement program provides:

  • Up to $9,000 for funeral costs related to a single loved one
  • Up to $35,500 for funeral costs related to multiple COVID-19 deaths in a single state, territory, or the District of Columbia

Who qualifies for FEMA Funeral Assistance funds?

FEMA will review your application and make the ultimate determination. You must meet the following conditions to qualify for FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance:
  • Your loved one's death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • Your loved one's death occurred in the United States, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory.
  • You are a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien. (Your loved one need not have been a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien.)
  • You paid for your loved one's funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • You did not receive funds for the funeral expenses from other sources, including funeral or burial insurance or financial assistance of another kind.
  • No one else has received FEMA Funeral Assistance funds for your loved one's expenses.
  • If family members shared funeral expenses, FEMA is allowing one co-applicant per application.

What documents do I need to apply for FEMA Funeral Assistance?

To apply for FEMA Funeral Assistance, you must submit all of the following documents:

  • An official death certificate indicating your loved one's death "may have been caused by" or "was likely a result of" COVID-19 or "COVID-19-like symptoms" or a similar phrase that indicates a high likelihood of COVID-19.
  • Proof of funeral expenses, such as receipts or your funeral home contract. It must include everything on the list below:
    • Name of the person who paid the funeral expenses.
    • The total amount of the funeral expenses.
    • Name of the loved one.
    • Date of the funeral expenses.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources for funeral costs, such as funeral or burial insurance or money from voluntary agencies or government agencies (state, tribal or federal). *FEMA will not pay if these sources did. Still, you do not need to worry about documenting life insurance proceeds, death gratuities or other forms of assistance not specifically intended to defray funeral costs. FEMA does not count those as funeral benefits.

What funeral expenses are eligible for FEMA funeral reimbursement?

FEMA Funeral Assistance is intended to help with expenses for funeral services, cremation services and burial. Covered expenses include:

  • transportation for up to two people to identify the loved one
  • transfer of the loved one
  • a casket or urn
  • a burial plot or cremation niche
  • a marker or headstone
  • clergy or officiant services
  • funeral director services
  • funeral staff services
  • use of the funeral home
  • cremation or interment costs
  • costs associated with certifying multiple death certificates
  • other expenses mandated by local or state government laws or ordinances

Contact ARN at (317) 873-4776, or arn@arnmortuary.com if you need an itemized list of funeral expenses.

How do I apply for FEMA COVID Funeral Assistance?

FEMA will begin taking applications on Monday, April 12, via a toll-free number.

  • Call 844-684-6333 (or 800-462-7585 for TTY), from Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.
  • Complete an application with the help of a FEMA representative, who will give you an application number you can track.
  • Provide supporting documents:
    • Upload to your DisasterAssistance.gov account
    • Fax
    • Mail

Applications cannot be submitted online. Multilingual services are available.

Is there a deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?

Not at this time.

If I qualify, how will I get the reimbursement?

If you are eligible for FEMA Funeral Assistance, you will get a check by mail or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply.

To learn more, go to www.FEMA.gov.

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