New FEMA Program
Up to $9,000 Relief for COVID-related Funeral Expenses
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) program is providing financial assistance of up to $9,000 for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred between January 20, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
To be eligible for the assistance, you need to meet the following conditions:
- The death must have occurred in the U.S., including the US territories and the District of Columbia.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020. (There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a US citizen, noncitizen national or qualified alien.)
FEMA states they will reimburse families up to $9,000 for COVID-related funeral and burial costs. It isn't yet clear what factors will determine who is able to receive the full amount, or a portion of the available funds.
Before applications open up in April, FEMA recommends those who may be eligible gather the following documentation:
- An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U.S., including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. (You can get one by contacting the state or county vital records office. Sometimes a cemetery, funeral home, or a third-party provider can also request this for you.)
- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, cemetery contract, 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.
The Catholic Cemeteries Office of the Diocese of Bridgeport is available to assist with any burial information required to file for this assistance, as well as discuss and plan for your future needs.