Among the programs available to assist those who are bereaved by the Covid-19 epidemic is a new program that assists with reimbursement of funeral costs.
FEMA has introduced the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy, which reimburses applicants for funeral costs associated with COVID-19 related fatalities. An applicant who paid funeral costs of a Covid-19 decedent is eligible to receive up to $9,000 in reimbursement assistance per funeral. To be eligible, the applicant must be a US citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien. There is, however, no requirement that the decedent be a US citizen or national.
To qualify for reimbursement, the funeral costs must be related to a decedent who died after January 20, 2020, and COVID-19 must be listed on the death certificate as having been a cause or contributing factor to the death. Only one applicant is eligible to receive reimbursement per funeral. However, applicants can seek to recover expenses they paid for more than one funeral (the entire amount that one applicant can seek as reimbursement is capped at $35,500 per applicant).
Finally, although Funeral Assistance is not related to any income level of either the applicant or the decedent, this program does not reimburse for costs which are otherwise paid by funds set aside for death expenses. Therefore, an applicant cannot seek reimbursement for funeral costs that can otherwise be paid through a pre-paid funeral contract, irrevocable Medicaid trust, or funeral or burial insurance policy.
The entire program is run by FEMA via telephone contacts; no online or paper application process is presently available. Interested applicants should call FEMA at 844-684-6333 to apply over the phone. There is currently no application deadline or expiration, or any cap established on available funds.
Should you have any questions or concerns about the above program, or need any assistance regarding estate planning or administration, contact a CGA Law Firm Estate Planning Attorney.
Aurora is earning her Juris Doctorate degree from the Delaware Law School at Widener University. She is the President of the Widener Chapter of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and Treasurer of the Environmental Law and Policy Society.