Financial Aid for Covid Funeral Costs

Vawter Financial |

One of the seemingly lesser-known benefits of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Action of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the “Acts”) is a program through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) to provide financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses. So how does it work? 


There are two categories of eligible deaths as they relate to this program. In both, you must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses. First, for deaths occurring from January 20, 2020, to May 16, 2020, either (1) the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed COVID-19 or (2) the death certificate must be accompanied by a signed statement provided by the original certifier of the death certificate or the local medical examiner or coroner and must indicate that COVID-19 was a cause or contributing factor in the death. Second, for deaths occurring after May 16, 2020, the death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19. 


Under the Acts, an individual is eligible for maximum relief of $9,000.00 per deceased individual and a maximum of $35,500 per application if the applicant incurred funeral expenses for multiple decedents. The following are some, but not all of the expenses covered: 

  • Funeral services 

  • Cremation 

  • Internment 

  • Casket or urn 

  • Burial plot 

  • Marker or headstone 

  • Clergy 

  • Costs of producing and certifying multiple death certificates 

For a complete list, see the related FEMA FAQ’s here: 

How to Apply 

The only way to apply for the program is to call FEMA, which indicates it should take only 20 minutes to apply. The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline can be reached at (844) 684-6333 Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST. When you call, you will be assigned a FEMA application number, and you can then submit your documentation online, by fax, or by mail. 

For more information, you can check out the FEMA flyer on the program here: and you can visit the program website at: 



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