Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?
You may qualify if:
- You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses on or after Jan. 20, 2020, and
- The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by, or was likely the result of, COVID-19.
- The program is open to all who qualify, regardless of their income.
How to Apply
Applications will be accepted beginning on April 12, 2021. At this time there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. You must call FEMA at the number below to start the application process. There is no online application.
Call FEMA's Toll-Free COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line
1-844-684-6333 | TTY: 1-800-462-7585
Hours of Operation:
Monday - Friday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time
Call this dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA's representatives. Multilingual services will be available.
If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, you should keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:
- An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- UPDATE: FEMA recently updated its policy on documentation that it will accept for this benefit for COVID-related deaths that occurred earlier in the pandemic. If the death certificate was issued from Jan. 20 to May 16, 2020 it must either attribute the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 or be accompanied by a signed statement from the original certifier of the death certificate or the local medical examiner or coroner from the jurisdiction in which the death occurred listing COVID-19 as a cause or contributing cause of death. This signed statement must provide an additional explanation, or causal pathway, linking the cause of death listed on the death certificate to COVID-19.
- If the death certificate was issued May 17, 2020 or later, the death certificate must attribute the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19
- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. FEMA is not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.
Death Certificate Information
Certified copies of death certificates for an individual who died in Massachusetts can be obtained from:
- City and town clerks of the municipality where the decedent died or lived (if in Mass.), or
- The Massachusetts Department of Public Health's Registry of Vital Records and Statistics (RVRS): https://www.mass.gov/ordering-a-birth-marriage-or-death-certificate
For more information, email Vital.Recordsrequest@mass.gov or contact the city/town clerk's office where the death occurred or where the decedent resided.
Fees for certified copies of death records vary, depending on where they are obtained, and may be eligible for reimbursement under this FEMA Funeral Assistance Program.
Death certificate amendments (corrections)
Learn more about amending a Massachusetts death certificate. If you have further questions about amending a death certificate, please contact RVRS at: firstname.lastname@example.org or the city/town clerk's office where the death occurred. Fees for amendments vary depending on where they are performed.
FEMA Funeral Assistance Website & FAQ
For more information visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance webpage including Funeral Assistance FAQ.
FEMA has created a video that details the application process: https://youtu.be/DgvN_9m58Z0