It was big news in April when Congress announced legislation to fund “billions” in funeral expenses for Covid death funeral expenses with the Funeral Assistance Program. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) was tasked with managing the claim process and issuing a reimbursement for funeral expenses paid out by a family member for a Covid death that has occurred after January 20th, 2020.
Indeed, the phone lines were bombarded with calls as soon as the news was announced. The only way to submit a claim is by initially phoning the FEMA Funeral Assistance hotline.
How do you start a claim for FEMA Funeral Assistance?
Visit this guide by US Funerals Online for a step-by-step guide to submitting a claim for funeral expense reimbursement. It covers how to claim, how much a family can claim, what documents you will need, and vital statistic information you have to provide.
How much has FEMA paid out to families so far?
A press release today by FEMA has announced that so far 66,800 people have received pay-outs. The total amount paid from the fund to date is $447 million. FEMA also provides a state-by-state breakdown of applications received, funding awards passed, and the amount paid.
This makes for an interesting analysis of where Covid deaths were high, combined with population rates, and likely financial hardship where more families need to make a claim to be reimbursed for funeral costs.
Find out what other financial help may be available by state to families struggling with funeral expenses.
Note – FEMA policy updated July 1st, 2021 to simplify the process for applicants. Now, an application can be made even if the death certificate does not state the cause of death from Covid – but a letter or statement from the Medical Examiner supports that the cause of death was Covid.
To submit an application for funeral costs incurred for a Covid death, you can call the FEMA hotline on (844) 684-6333 from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm (ET) Monday through Friday. FEMA has 2,500 employees dedicated to working with families to determine eligibility for an award.
You may also be interested in reading our post about The Funeral Industry, Death Care Practices, and Cremation in the Face of the Covid Pandemic.