Review COVID-19 or natural disaster death benefits

Immediately After a Death

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a government agency that responds to any disaster that has occurred in the United States.

Part of their disaster relief effort is to provide Surviving Families of these disasters with certain FEMA Death Benefits.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, FEMA will provide up to $9,000 for expenses related to the Funeral of a deceased person who has died from COVID-19.

These funds can be used to reimburse fees associated with:

Helpful Tips


To apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance, call FEMA toll-free Mon - Fri, 9:00am - 9:00pm EST.

It will take about 20 minutes to submit an application with a FEMA representative. Multilingual services are available.

To complete the application you would need to provide:

  • Your Social Security Number and date of birth
  • The Social Security Number and date of birth of the person who died
  • Your current mailing address and telephone number
  • The address where the individual died
  • If the person who died had burial or funeral insurance policies
  • If you received other funeral assistance (such as donations, CARES Act grants, state/territory assistance, or assistance from voluntary organizations)
  • The routing and account number of your checking or savings account, if you want eligible funds delivered by direct deposit

After the application has been submitted, FEMA will give you an application number. Then, use this number to create an account on DisasterAssistance.gov and upload the following documents:

Lightbulb_Icon.svgGood to Know Once FEMA receives all required documents, it takes approximately 45 days to decide if you are eligible to receive benefits.

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant If FEMA approves your application, funds will be deposited to your bank account, or sent by mail in the form of a Department of the Treasury check. Funds usually arrive a few days after approval.

For more information about how FEMA helps with COVID-19 funeral assistance view the FEMA website


COVID-19 funeral assistance is available if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-citizen.
  • The death occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia;
  • The death was attributed to COVID-19 and documented as such on the death certificate
  • You are responsible for the eligible funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020

Personal Considerations


Was the death a result of COVID-19?


You may be eligible to receive money from FEMA for funeral or cremation expenses.

To receive COVID-19 funeral assistance you must provide FEMA with a signed funeral home contract, along with its invoice and receipt of payment.

These documents must also include:

  • Your name, showing you are responsible for some or all of the expense
  • The name of the deceased
  • Itemized expenses
  • Proof that the expenses were incurred on or after January 20, 2020

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Applications are not accepted online so you must call FEMA directly to begin the application process. Call them using the module below.

To apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, call FEMA Mon - Fri 9:00am - 9:00pm EST


Continue to review other ways to receive benefits or ways to save money in this section of the Guide.


If the death was the result of COVID-19:

You may be eligible to receive money from FEMA for funeral or cremation expenses.

To receive COVID-19 funeral assistance you must provide FEMA with a signed funeral home contract, along with its invoice and receipt of payment.

These documents must also include:

  • Your name, showing you are responsible for some or all of the expense
  • The name of the deceased
  • Itemized expenses
  • Proof that the expenses were incurred on or after January 20, 2020

Exclamation_Icon.svgImportant Applications are not accepted online so you must call FEMA directly to begin the application process. Call them using the module below.

To apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, call FEMA Mon - Fri 9:00am - 9:00pm EST

If the death was not the result of COVID-19:

Continue to review other ways to receive benefits or ways to save money in this section of the Guide.


Did the deceased die in a FEMA disaster?


The surviving family may be eligible for funeral expense assistance from FEMA under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and Other Needs Assistance provision.

Funds are only available to surviving families whose relatives' death was directly or indirectly attributed to a declared emergency or major disaster.

These funds can be used for:

  • Burial or Cremation
  • A Casket or Urn
  • Mortuary services (including Embalming
  • Transporting the deceased’s body
  • Transporting up to two family members to the local area to identify the body (if local/state authorities require this)
  • Two Death certificates
  • A burial plot
  • Cost of Reinterment (moving the body if it was disturbed by the declared disaster)

In order to qualify for funeral assistance, the following must be submitted to FEMA for review:

  • A death certificate that attributes the death or the injury causing death to the declared emergency or major disaster
  • Proof that the applicant is the official Next of Kin
  • Confirmation that funeral expenses have not been paid for by other resources (e.g., Social Security or Veterans Benefits
  • Evidence of an unmet funeral expense (a receipt from a service provider)

Read more about how FEMA helps with disaster funeral assistance on their website.

Apply for disaster funeral assistance on the FEMA website


If you have any questions call the FEMA hotline 7 days a week, 7:00am - 11:00pm EST


Continue to review other ways to receive benefits or ways to save money in this section of the Guide.


If the deceased died in a FEMA disaster:

The surviving family may be eligible for funeral expense assistance from FEMA under the Individuals and Households Program (IHP) and Other Needs Assistance provision.

Funds are only available to surviving families whose relatives' death was directly or indirectly attributed to a declared emergency or major disaster.

These funds can be used for:

  • Burial or Cremation
  • A Casket or Urn
  • Mortuary services (including Embalming
  • Transporting the deceased’s body
  • Transporting up to two family members to the local area to identify the body (if local/state authorities require this)
  • Two Death certificates
  • A burial plot
  • Cost of Reinterment (moving the body if it was disturbed by the declared disaster)

In order to qualify for funeral assistance, the following must be submitted to FEMA for review:

  • A death certificate that attributes the death or the injury causing death to the declared emergency or major disaster
  • Proof that the applicant is the official Next of Kin
  • Confirmation that funeral expenses have not been paid for by other resources (e.g., Social Security or Veterans Benefits
  • Evidence of an unmet funeral expense (a receipt from a service provider)

Read more about how FEMA helps with disaster funeral assistance on their website.

Apply for disaster funeral assistance on the FEMA website


If you have any questions call the FEMA hotline 7 days a week, 7:00am - 11:00pm EST

If the deceased did not die in a FEMA disaster:

Continue to review other ways to receive benefits or ways to save money in this section of the Guide.

Actions to Take


To apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance, call FEMA Mon - Fri 9:00am - 9:00pm EST


Apply for disaster funeral assistance on the FEMA website

Providers to Contact


Probate Attorneys Near You

Probate Attorneys help you identify and apply for COVID-19 and disaster benefits owed to the deceased. They help settle a deceased person’s estate.

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Immediately After a Death