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Assisting Families of Victims of COVID-19 with FEMA Funeral Assistance

Over the past year, families have faced unprecedented losses, as the COVID-19 pandemic has led to nearly 600,000 deaths across the country. Fortunately, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now offering assistance to those who have had to bury a loved one due to COVID-19.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

To be eligible for funeral assistance, individuals must meet the following conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. 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, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

If approved, COVID-19 Funeral Assistance can be used to reimburse a wide range of costs. These include costs of transport for up to two people to identify the deceased person, transfer of remains, casket or urn, burial plot or cremation niche, marker or headstone, clergy or officiant services, arrangement of funeral ceremonies, use of funeral equipment or staff, cremation or interment costs, costs of producing and certifying multiple death certificates, and additional costs required by applicable local or state laws or ordinances. Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.

While any family that lost a loved one due to COVID-19 could benefit from the assistance of this program, the reality is that for many, the unique toll of the pandemic makes this financial assistance crucial. COVID-19 swept through families, sometimes claiming the lives of multiple people within a home.

If an employee loses a loved one, it can be difficult to know how to help, especially if they are still working from home. However, providing emotional and practical support at this time will help them, their family and other colleagues within your organization.

For additional insights and information on program qualification and FAQs, visit the FEMA Funeral Assistance FAQ page.

Looking to equip your workforce with meaningful resources to stay productive, healthy, and engaged? Check out OneDigital’s Coronavirus Advisory Hub.