FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Plan Opens With Busy Signals, Technical Glitches and Warnings of Fraud

FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Plan Opens With Busy Signals, Technical Glitches and Warnings of Fraud

Voice Staff |

FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

The funds are available under the Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

Since the program launched Monday April 12, call volumes have remained so high, many of those wishing to apply for assistance were unable to file their claims. CNN reports the agency received more than a million calls within the first 90 minutes of opening its lines.

You Must Call to Apply

FEMA advises those eligible for this reimbursement not to get discouraged but rather to wait a few days and try again as there is no deadline to file your application.  

The number for the COVID-19 Assistance Line is (844) 684-6333. It is open for calls Monday through Friday 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. PT.

You must call this dedicated toll-free phone number to complete an application for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance funding. Those who call will receive application assistance from FEMA representatives. Multilingual services are available.

Eligibility

To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

 

  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

Beware of Fraud

FEMA has also posted an important Fraud Alert on its website advising it has received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA has not sent any such notifications and does not contact people before they register for assistance.

To review a list of frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program visit FEMA’s Funeral Assistance FAQ page.

 

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