The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted us all, but even more for those who have lost a loved one due to the virus and its consequences.
To assist with unexpected funeral costs, the U.S. government enacted federal relief legislation in March 2021 that provides up to $9,000 for eligible expenses such including funeral expenses, interment or cremation. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is administering the program, which began on April 12, 2021.
To become eligible for funeral assistance, the following conditions must be met:
- Death must have occurred in the United States, U.S. territories, or District of Columbia (St Louis complies with this this requirement)
- Death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
- Please note that deceased person is not required to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.
Guidelines for financial assistance include:
- The maximum amount of financial aid available is $9,000 per funeral. You may apply for multiple deceased individuals with a maximum of $35,500 per application.
- If multiple people helped pay the funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application.
- Once deemed eligible for funeral assistance, money is distributed via check by mail or funds by direct deposit
Make certain you have the appropriate documentation including an official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19, as well as receipts, contracts and paperwork detailing funeral expenses. Recipients are not reimbursed for benefits received from burial or funeral insurance or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies or other governmental sources. If you need a St Louis funeral home that can assist you with a funeral, we’re here to help.
For additional information about the funeral assistance program, visit FEMA’s official funeral assistance page. You can also call FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance support number at (844) 684-633, available Monday through Friday 8am to 8pm CST.