Maui News

FEMA To Help Pay Funeral Costs for Deaths Related to COVID-19

April 8, 2021, 9:11 AM HST
* Updated April 8, 9:12 AM
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FEMA will start taking applications April 12 for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy to help pay for funeral expenses. Photo Courtesy: Ballard Family Mortuary

Beginning April 12, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start taking applications for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy, which could provide up to $9,000 for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

“COVID-19 has impacted many of our families and friends,” Hawai’i Emergency Management Administrator Luke Meyers said. “This assistance will help relieve some burden related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

According to FEMA’s guidance, COVID-19 funeral assistance will be available to applicants based on the following criteria and eligibilities.

  • The applicant must be a US 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 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 US territories and the District of Columbia.
  • This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum amount of $35,500 per application.
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

A dedicated Funeral Assistance Line has been set up to help people apply. Applicants can dial 800-462-7585 or 844-684-6333, Monday-Friday from 3 am to 3 pm Hawaii Standard Time.

The line will be active beginning April 12, 2021. Until that time, applicants are encouraged to begin gathering the required documentation.

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Applicants should have the following documentation gathered when they apply.

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
  • Funeral expense documents – receipts, funeral home contract, etc. – that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs.
  • Financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial programs or agencies, or other sources.
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More information regarding this assistance can be found at COVID-19 Funeral Assistance | FEMA.gov. The website will be continually updated.

For questions, please contact the FEMA Office of External Affairs:

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