Coronavirus and the Deathcare Profession
FEMA Amends COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy
On June 29, 2021, FEMA issued an updated policy that helps to resolve an issue relating to death certificates NOT identifying the underlying cause of death as COVID related. Under the updated policy, applicants who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses can submit a death certificate that does not attribute the death to COVID-19 along with a signed statement for deaths that occurred between January 20, 2020, and May 16, 2020. The certifier of the death certificate, or the local medical examiner or coroner from the jurisdiction in which the death occurred, must be the signatory on the statement, and the statement must include the causal pathway between the cause of death listed on the death certificate and COVID-19. For any COVID-19-related death occurring after May 16, 2020, the death certificate must attribute the cause of death to COVID-19.
FEMA TO HELP PAY FUNERAL COSTS FOR COVID-19-RELATED DEATHS
As of April 12, 2021, FEMA will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. The policy was finalized and FEMA is now moving rapidly to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide.
To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the policy states:
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line
Applications begin on 4/12/2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.
- If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
- An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
- The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
- This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
- Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.
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