FEMA to Shoulder COVID-19 Funeral Cost Burden

One of the more tragic aspects of COVID-19 outside of its death rate, is how too many have been burdened by unaffordable funeral costs during the economic crisis that COVID-19 has also caused.  To alleviate this burden, two pieces of legislation went into effect this March: the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.  These Acts bring funeral assistance from FEMA (up to $9,000) for any COVID-19 related funeral expenses that were incurred after January 20, 2020.  FEMA began accepting applications on April 12.

To be eligible for funeral assistance: the death must have occurred in the U.S., COVID-19 must be attributed as a cause of death on the death certificate, funeral expenses had to have been incurred after January 20, 2020, and there is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.  However, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

The application process is conducted over the phone.  There is no online application.  If you wish to apply call FEMA’s dedicated call center at (844) 684-6333; TTY (800) 462-7585, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m.– 9 p.m. For more information go to: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq

Author: Lori Ann Doyon

Managing editor, head writer, and lead photographer of Greenline | North Brooklyn News since October 2014. Resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn since 1990.

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