For those individuals who aren’t aware, the governmental agency FEMA is providing financial assistance under various federal programs to individuals who have lost a loved one due to the COVID-19 pandemic and who have incurred funeral expenses for that loved one.
In order to receive funds to reimburse those individuals, they must apply to FEMA for funeral payment assistance. Those applicants must meet the following conditions:
- The applicant must be a U.S. citizen; however, there is no requirement that the individual who passed away with COVID be a US citizen.
- The applicant’s identity must be able to be verified.
- The funeral expenses must have been incurred after Jan. 20, 2020.
- The incurred funeral expenses must not be able to be paid by other means. For example, if the decedent already had prepaid funeral or burial insurance or if there is other financial assistance that has been provided, then the applicant would not be eligible.
- The death certificate of the decedent must state that COVID-19 played a role in the decedent’s death.
- The death occurred in the United States.
The applicant will need to provide the death certificate and proof of payment of the funeral expenses in the applicant’s name. Assuming that FEMA determines that the applicant qualifies for an award to reimburse for funeral expenses, the applicant will receive reimbursement for actual funeral costs up to $9,000 for each COVID-19 related funeral for which they are responsible for payment.
For further information or to apply, please go to www.fema.gov/disaster/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.
NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.
James F. Contini II is a certified specialist in estate planning with Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., LPA of New Philadelphia. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.