FEMA has provided more than $1.8 billion to approximately 274,000 people. While there is no deadline to apply for this assistance, in April, FEMA will begin placing applications that remain incomplete after at least 365 days in a suspended status.

This change will allow FEMA to focus attention on individuals who intend to finalize their application and avoids repeated contact to anyone who may no longer wish to continue this process. Families, or applicants, can reactivate their application, without appeal, by submitting the required documents.

After someone initially applies for COVID-19 funeral assistance, FEMA sends reminders to them to submit their documentation throughout the application process. The agency also reaches out by phone to anyone with an incomplete application to address any concerns in completing their application.

Beginning now and through March, FEMA will notify applicants who have not submitted all required information and documentation that their applications will be moved to a suspended status 365 days after they initially applied for assistance. Further notifications will be sent to applicants via auto-dialer by phone, email or text message up to 60 days in advance of the 365-day submission deadline. Applicants who still do not provide all documentation within this timeframe will receive a letter from FEMA informing them their application for COVID-19 funeral assistance is in a suspended status. As a provider, you can reach out to any families who have not completed their application and assist them in gathering still required documentation. Also, as a provider, be aware of the new suspension status so you are able to answer questions you may receive from families.