FEMA set to reimburse families for COVID-19 related funeral costs

FEMA provides reimbursements for COVID-19 funeral costs

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Under the recent federal relief package, families can be reimbursed for funeral costs, if their loved one passed away from COVID-19 complications.

Up to $9,000 can be reimbursed, as long as family members provide receipts and documentation.

Funeral home director Deana Grissom empathizes with families dealing with this financial burden in the wake of a COVID-19 related death.

“This wasn’t something that they had thought about. This wasn’t something that was in that monthly budget or yearly budget. Some of these folks were young and had young families,” Grissom said.

To be eligible for financial funeral assistance, the death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19 and the funeral occurred after January 2020.

Grissom says whoever paid for the funeral is eligible for reimbursement.

“So when they come in and sat with their funeral director, whoever signed that contract and took on that financial obligation. It might not have been the wife, it might have been the wife’s brother,” Grissom said.

The purchaser can qualify and you can also qualify if funeral expenses were paid using life insurance.

“For each individual case there is up to $9,000. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get $9,000, but you can get up to $9,000. So if a family had multiple deaths, like a husband and wife - and we have heard a lot of that happening - that purchaser is allowed to make multiple claims, but only up to $35,000,” Grissom said.

To get started on your application, you have to call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number.

Applications begin on April 12, 2021.

Call 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time.

“It’s a phone call and at the end of that phone call they will be given an account number and there is a website link that they will go to. They will put that account number online and upload the supporting documents and things of that nature”

Grissom encourages families to have the following documentation ready before you call.

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

Copyright 2021 KCBD. All rights reserved.