Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee today announced a new development for families seeking assistance with funeral costs for loved ones that have passed away as a result of COVID-19. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
Starting, Monday, April 12, those who lost loved ones to COVID-19 will be able to apply for retroactive reimbursements for burial costs of up to $9,000 per burial. There is no citizenship requirement for eligibility for this relief. If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant.
“Families across this country are living on the edge because of this public health and economic crisis,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “On top of facing unimaginable hardship and loss, the last thing they should have to worry about is how to pay for funeral expenses. That’s why Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and I introduced the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Act last Congress to help ease the burden caused by the virus. I applaud the leadership of Majority Leader Schumer for making this a priority, and I’m pleased to see the Biden Administration is taking action to deliver this critical relief to families.”
Applicant must provide the following documents:
- Official death certificate attributing 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.
- Funeral expenses documents, such as receipts or a funeral home contract, that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Hot Line: 844-684-6333 or TTY: 800-462-7585
In May 2020, Representatives Barbara Lee and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Act, which would instruct FEMA to disperse $10,000 to cover the funeral expenses of those lost to the pandemic.
Additional information on the Program can be found here: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov.