Understanding FEMA’s Funeral Assistance for those who’ve lost someone to COVID-19

Understanding FEMA’s Funeral Assistance for those who’ve lost someone to COVID-19

While there’s nothing that can make up for the death of a loved one, the grant program can aid Texans who have been affected by COVID-19 financially.

COVID-19 victims’ families in Texas face not only shock and grief, but also the additional hardship of arranging funeral services during a pandemic. Fortunately, the federal government is providing a solution for loved ones to lessen their financial burden.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) granted over 2,585 applications for Covid-19 funeral aid in the first month after the program’s launch. FEMA is offering financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses to help alleviate some of the financial stress and hardship created by the virus.

FEMA would reimburse up to $9,000 in funeral expenses for each COVID-19 death, with a maximum payment of $35,000 for families who have lost several family members under the program.


Applicants should call FEMA’s funeral assistance hotline at 844-684-6333 to begin the process. They are then issued a letter with a deadline of 90 days to submit all essential papers to be considered eligible. Only until all of the paperwork has been submitted can applications be handled. To apply to the program, the death must have occurred in the United States, and the death certificate must state that the cause of death was COVID-19. 

Applicants must have receipts of their expenses. Keep in mind that FEMA won’t reimburse expenses covered through insurance.


The applicant responsible for COVID-19 funeral expenses will need to provide the following information below when they call FEMA to register for assistance. Gather this information to start the process:

  • Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual.
  • Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual.
  • Current mailing address for the applicant.
  • Current telephone number for the applicant.
  • Address where the deceased individual passed away.
  • Information about burial or funeral insurance policies.
  • Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations.
  • CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations.
  • Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested).

Some of the Expenses Covered

  • Transportation for up to two people to identify the deceased.
  • Transfer of remains.
  • Urn and casket.
  • The burial plot or cremation niche.
  • Marker or headstone.
  • Officiant services.
  • The funeral ceremony.
  • Funeral home expenses.
  • Cremation or interment costs.
  • Production and certifications of death certificates
  • Additional fees mandated by any Texas laws or ordinances.