There has been quite a lot of media attention and speculation in the last few weeks about the FEMA reimbursement for funeral expenses for deaths due to COVID-19. Please note: much of what is being reported is conjecture and FEMA has not yet issued a policy outlining how and to whom funds will be made available.
Since March 2020, NFDA has been working on funeral assistance for families that experience the death of a loved one due to COVID, and has been directly involved with the officials at FEMA who are now responsible for developing policies governing the implementation and disbursement of this funding.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 (a COVID relief package), which became law on December 27, 2020, included $2 billion FEMA assistance for funeral expenses for deaths due to COVID between January 20 and December 31, 2020; it does not include deaths due to COVID that occurred in 2021.
After this bill became law, it became FEMA's responsibility to determine how to implement it (e.g., determine who is eligible, what funeral-related expenses are eligible, how much is available to each family, how families can apply, etc.).
According to FEMA, information being reported in the media about the reimbursement amount, who may qualify for reimbursement, the eligible expenses and an application process is speculation and should not be considered final FEMA policy.
Again, NFDA will continue to work closely with officials at FEMA as they develop policies for this funding. As soon as FEMA releases its final policy with all of the details, we will share it with you so you can pass the information along to families that may be eligible to apply.
In the meantime, for families that experience the death of a loved one due to COVID, NFDA has information about paying for a funeral and financial assistance on Remembering A Life, our consumer education website.