FEMA Can Help With Covid-19 Funeral Costs. Here’s What You Need To Know.


Funerals can be expensive. According to the National Association of Funeral Directors, the median cost of an adult funeral, including a coffin, viewing the body, a ceremony, and burial, was $7,640 in 2019. (Updated data is expected this summer.)

Cremations have become increasingly popular in recent years and are often less expensive. The median cost of a “direct” cremation with a family-provided container was $2,395 in 2019. (In a direct cremation, the corpse is cremated shortly after death without services such as embalming or visiting hours.)

Here are some questions and answers about funerals and FEMA’s charity program:

Applicants should call the agency’s helpline at 844-684-6333. By FEMA’s websiteNo online applications will be accepted. Applicants must provide documentation of the deceased person’s name, date of funeral, and expenses. Documents can be uploaded to a dedicated website or sent by fax or mail, according to the helpline.

Most funeral homes keep families informed of the federal program, but funeral directors are unable to apply for benefits on their behalf, said Randy Anderson, new president of the National Association of Funeral Administrators, an industry group. But principals can assist in providing documentation of expenses and copies of death certificates.

More details are available on the agency’s website. Web site.

Eligible costs include transportation for up to two people to identify the deceased, a coffin or a vase, a burial plot and headstone, arranging a burial, and cremation or burial.

Advice is available online at: Federal Trade Commission; Funeral Consumers Alliance, a non-profit group; and National Funeral Administrators Association.

State regulators also offer information online, but most do a lackluster job of informing consumers about their rights when arranging funerals and related services. new report finds.


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