** This article has been revised from its original version which was published on February…
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that it has allocated $2 billion dollars to reimburse families up to $9,000 dollars for COVID-19 related funeral expenses which were incurred after January 20, 2020. These funds have been made available under the relief packages of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
In order to be eligible for FEMA funds for COVID-19 funeral expenses, the following requirements must be satisfied:
- The death must have occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia;
- The death certificate must indicate that COVID-19 attributed to the death; and
- The applicant must be a United States Citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who paid for COVID-19 funeral expenses after January 20. 2020. Please note that there is no requirement for the decedent to have been a United States citizen, a non-citizen national, or a qualified alien.
Although the FEMA application has not yet been finalized and released, FEMA will begin to implement its financial assistance by accepting applications in April 2021. FEMA will also establish a dedicated toll-free telephone number for applications. For further guidance and the most current information, please click on this link for FEMA’s website page: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.
Documents Needed for FEMA Funds for COVID-19 Funeral Expenses
In preparation for the FEMA application for financial assistance, FEMA recommends gathering the following documents which are required to be submitted:
- An official death certificate which reports that the death was directly or indirectly related to COVID-19 and indicates that the death occurred in the United States;
- Funeral expenses documents, such as payment receipts and the funeral home contract, which include the applicant’s name, the decedent’s name, the dollar amount of the funeral expenses, and the dates of the funeral expenses; and
- Proof of funds received from other sources which were specifically used for the funeral expenses. Please note that FEMA cannot issue reimbursement for funeral expenses for which financial assistance was already received from burial or funeral insurance, voluntary or government agencies, or other sources.
If FEMA approves eligibility for financial assistance for COVID-19 funeral expenses, it will issue either a check by mail or funds by direct deposit, depending on the option selected on the application.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused grief and financial stress on many families who have tragically suffered the loss of a loved one. At Russo Law Group, P.C., we understand how difficult it is to cope with the death of a loved one. We can provide professional services to guide you through the estate issues and to ease your burdens. We invite you to take advantage of our comprehensive website as well as our free seminars and webinars to learn more about how Russo Law Group, P.C. may assist you.