By Guest Contributor

In April FEMA began disbursing $2 billion — $9,000 per funeral — in funeral reimbursement. The money also covers cremation without other services. If the family incurs cemetery or memorial-related costs, FEMA’s funeral assistance will not fully cover those.

Who can apply?

  • The death must have happened in the United States
  • The death certificate must show the death was related to COVID-19
  • The applicant must have funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and be a U.S. citizen, legal permanent resident, or have connections to one of the American territories

How to apply?

Online applications will not be accepted. To apply, call FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance line at 844-684-6333. Teletype — for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired — is available at 800-462-7585. Multilingual services are also available.

The call will take around 20 minutes, according to FEMA’s website. After applying over the phone, applicants can upload necessary documents to or mail or fax the paperwork.

Can a person apply for COVID-19 funeral aid for more than one death?

Yes. Assistance covers up to $9,000 per funeral and a $35,500 maximum per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.

What registration information is needed?

  • Social Security number and birth date for the applicant and the deceased person
  • Applicant’s current mailing address and phone number
  • Location where the deceased person died
  • Burial or funeral insurance policy information
  • Details about other monetary funeral assistance received, including CARES Act grants
  • A routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account, if they request the aid be directly deposited

What documentation is needed?

  • Provide a death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows it occurred in the United States
  • Funeral expenses documents with the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the funeral expense amounts and funeral expense dates
  • Proof of funds received from other sources used for funeral costs

What is the deadline to apply for aid?

FEMA has not set a deadline yet.

Two people paid for funeral expenses. Can they both apply for COVID-19 aid?

Both people must register with FEMA under the same application as co-applicant. No more than one co-applicant can be included. If they file two separate applications, the application with proper documentation that was received first will be given the aid.

How do I appeal FEMA’s decision?

A person has 60 days from the date of FEMA’s decision letter to upload, fax, or mail a signed letter to appeal.

The appeal should include the following:

  • Why the decision is not correct
  • Supporting documentation
  • The application number must be on each page of the appeal. Appeal documents can be submitted in the following ways:
    – Upload through
    – Fax to 855-261-3452
    – Mail to P.O. BOX 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782