COVID funeral reimbursement now $ 9,000. Here’s how to apply today
If a loved one has died of accept applications eligible families., you may be able to get reimbursed up to $ 9,000 for funeral expenses. That’s $ 2,000 more per person than the upper limit of $ 7,000 announced in February. As of this week, the Federal Emergency Management Administration began
The FEMA measure was part of the, which also included a second up to $ 600. The law provides $ 2 billion for people who have been harmed by the and maybe going into debt to pay for the funeral and burial of a loved one.
Here’s everything we know so far about funeral reimbursement funds, including who is eligible and how to apply. For other questions related to COVID and stimulus money, here’s what you need to know, the from July (see our ). This is the last on , a and how .
Who can claim the reimbursement of funeral expenses related to COVID-19?
You can request reimbursement for a COVID-19-related funeral if you meet the following criteria, according to FEMA:
- Death must have occurred in the United States, including the United States Territories and the District of Columbia.
- Funeral expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020.
- The death certificate must state that the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
- The deceased does not have to be a U.S. citizen, non-national, or qualified alien.
- There is no income condition.
How much money can you get back?
The FEMA website says it will reimburse families up to $ 9,000 for funeral and burial costs related to COVID. It is not yet clear what factors will determine who is able to receive the full amount or part of the available funds.
In 2019, the national median cost of a funeral with one visit and one burial was $ 7,640, according to the National Association of Funeral Directors. If a safe or casket is included (which is often required by a cemetery), the median cost drops to $ 9,135. And that doesn’t take into account cemetery, monument or gravestone fees – or various cash advance fees, such as flowers or obituaries – noted the NFDA.
What funeral expenses will FEMA reimburse?
The program will reimburse expenses for funeral services such as:
- Transport of up to two people to identify the deceased
- Transfer of leftovers
- Casket or urn
- Burial ground or cremation niche
- Marker or gravestone
- Clergy or officiant services
- Organization of the funeral ceremony
- Use of funeral home equipment or personnel
- Cremation or burial costs
- Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
- Additional expenses imposed by applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
Can I get reimbursed for more than one member of my family?
If you were responsible for the funeral expenses of more than one family member whose death has been attributed to COVID-19, you can apply for assistance for more than one deceased, according to FEMA. Reimbursement is limited to a maximum of $ 9,000 per funeral and to a maximum of $ 35,500 per claim per state, territory or District of Columbia.
What kind of information will you need to apply?
Before calling to apply, FEMA recommends gathering the following documents, which you will need:
- Social security number of the applicant and the deceased
- Date of birth of the applicant and the deceased
- Applicant’s current mailing address
- Applicant’s current phone number
- Place or address where the deceased person died
- Information on funeral or funeral insurance policies
- Information on other funeral assistance received, such as donations
- Grants from the CARES Act and help from voluntary organizations
- Routing and account number of the applicant’s current or savings account (for direct deposit, on request)
You will also need:
- An official death certificate which attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the United States territories and the District of Columbia. (You can get one by contacting the state or local vital statistics office. Sometimes a funeral home or third-party provider may also request it for you.)
- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) which include the name of the applicant, the name of the deceased, the amount of the funeral expenses and the dates on which the funeral expenses took place.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for funeral expenses. FEMA is unable to duplicate benefits received from funeral or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from volunteer agencies, government agencies, or other sources. (Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of funeral assistance benefits.)
How to Apply for COVID-19 Funeral Reimbursement Fund
To claim up to $ 9,000 in funeral reimbursement from FEMA, first gather the documents listed above. Then call the COVID-19 Funeral Helpline at 844-684-6333. Note that FEMA receives a lot of calls, which causes technical problems. If you get a busy signal, try calling again later.
Once you’re done, it should take around 20 minutes to apply over the phone. You will receive an application number and you will be asked to provide documents to FEMA either:
- Download files to your Disaster Assistance.gov Account
- Fax documents to 855-261-3452.
- Sending documents to PO Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782
Is there a deadline for requesting the COVID-19 funeral reimbursement money?
At this point, there is no deadline to request the funds. FEMA will announce one once established, according to its website.
How will my repayment funds arrive?
If your application is approved, you will receive a check by mail or direct deposit, depending on the option you selected during the application process. FEMA has not indicated how long it will take to obtain these funds.
Has FEMA done something like this before?
Yes. Under the Stafford Law, FEMA may offer assistance with funeral expenses if the deaths were caused by a disaster declared by the president. This was the case after Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012. After three hurricanes hit Florida, Texas and Puerto Rico in 2017, FEMA provided approximately $ 2.6 million in response to 976 requests approved for funeral expenses, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office.
The COVID-19 pandemic, however, is on a much larger scale than anything FEMA has provided assistance for in the past, a spokesperson told CBS in December. The agency had already provided more than $ 56.2 billion in the fight against the pandemic, said the spokesperson.
“We understand the financial and emotional turmoil COVID-19 has brought to our country, and we are committed to providing funeral assistance to the American people as quickly as possible,” a FEMA spokesperson said. “We are working to streamline the delivery of this program to make it easier for people who have lost a loved one to seek and receive help. It takes time to develop the right process and the right tools to make this program easy, efficient and effective for everyone. ”
Watch out for scams
Unfortunately, the Federal Trade Commission has reportedby pretending to be FEMA and offering to pay the funeral expenses. You should know that FEMA will not contact you directly unless you have already contacted the agency or asked for help. Also, the government will not ask you to pay anything to get a refund. It will not call you, text you, contact you by email or contact you on social media and will not ask you for personal information such as your social security number, banking information. or credit card.
The FTC has also warned people not to give out any information about yourself or your loved ones to anyone who contacts you out of the blue, as it is likely a scam. If a caller claims to be FEMA and you suspect they are a scammer, you should hang up and report it to the FEMA Hotline at 800-621-3362 or the hotline of the National Center for Combating Fraud 866-720-5721.
For more information, seeand .