How to Cover COVID-Related Funeral Costs for Your Family Member

The Biden administration has amended some of the rules to make it easier to reimburse funeral costs for people who have lost family members to COVID-19. This means that if your application has already been rejected, you still have a chance to receive up to $ 9,000 in funeral funding paid by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Here’s what you need to know.

What is the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program?

As part of a $ 2.3 trillion spending package that President Trump signed in December 2020, $ 2 billion has been set aside for FEMA’s Funeral Pandemic Relief Program, which covers contingencies associated with the loss of a family member to COVID. … The program will reimburse the costs of the funeral, including services, cremation, purchase of a coffin or urn, burial site, headstone, and transportation. (FEMA previously launched scaled-down versions of this program for victims of major hurricanes and other natural disasters.)

The only problem? So far, the foundation has disbursed only $ 447 million, as applicants complained that they were denied on the basis of overly strict death certificate requirements.

The rules for the funeral assistance program have been changed.

As reported by Politico , in the testimonies of the death initially was supposed to indicate that the death of a family member has been caused or “could be called» COVID. However, that excludes thousands of Americans who died in the early stages of the pandemic, when testing was limited and doctors struggled to understand the disease. As a result, many death certificates from the time did not indicate that the cause of death was related to COVID.

Now, with a rule change, new and previously rejected candidates can send an additional letter from the certifying death certificate official that links death to COVID, applicable to deaths between January 20 and last May 16 (death certificate in which cited by COVID as the cause of death, however, required after May 16).

How to apply for help organizing a funeral

All other eligibility requirements and documentation for the program can be found here . If you are unsure if you are eligible, you can also call the Funeral Helpline at 844-684-6333, Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 9:00 pm ET.

For more information on COVID-19 funeral assistance , including FAQs, visit FEMA.gov.

This article was originally published on February 10, 2021 and has been updated on July 7, 2021 with new information.

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