The COVID pandemic has been going on for over a year now, but things are starting to change. In Florida, the local crematories that we know and work with are having issues keeping up to do the new surge in COVID related deaths. So sadly, more than ever, families need to be prepared on what to do if they ever have a loved one pass away from COVID and if they need help financially with the funeral or cremation arrangements.
- If your loved one passes away from Covid and they do not have cremation pre-arrangements, you could be eligible for FEMA Funeral Assistance. You will not be eligible for the FEMA Funeral assistance if your loved one has a prearranged cremation or funeral.
- You will need to decide if you will cremate or bury your loved one.
- Once you have picked a cremation facility to cremate your loved one, make sure to ask if there are any additional costs associated with the handling of your loved one due to their death caused by COVID-19.
- Pick out an urn for your loved one and write an obituary for them.
- Make sure to request a death certificate if your loved one died because of COVID. You will need to submit the death certificate stating the cause of death is COVID as one of the requirements for the program.
- You will have to pay for the cremation up-front and ensure your loved one’s death meets all the FEMA conditions if you want to apply for the Funeral Assistance.
Be prepared that the cremation facility might not have a lot of insight into this program and might not be that helpful. They are not allowed to apply for the program on your behalf.
Here is some more insight into the FEMA Funeral Assistance Program. However, please contact FEMA directly for any questions and you can get their contact information here: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance
How To Apply:
Call 844-684-6333 to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA’s representatives.
Who Is Eligible:
- Death must have occurred in the US, but you do not need to be a US citizen to qualify.
- Anyone who incurred funeral expenses after Jan 20, 2020
- The deceased persons death certificate must say the cause of death was caused or attributed to COVID-19.
- For deaths between Jan 2020- May 16, 2020, if the death certificate does not state the cause of death as COVID, you will need to geta signed statement from the certifying official stating the death was caused by COVID-19.
Eligible COVID-19 Funeral Assistance expenses typically include, but are not limited to:
- Funeral services
- Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
- Transfer of remains
- Casket or urn
- Burial plot or cremation niche
- Marker or headstone
- Clergy or officiant services
- Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
- Use of funeral home equipment or staff
- Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
- Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
We know this is a very hard time for many families, and we hope this will shed some light onto the new FEMA COVID Funeral Assistance Program.