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FEMA Taking Applications For Funeral Assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, continues to help people across the country, struggling with the unexpected expenses of funeral services for those who have passed due to COVID-19.

The national average for an award is $6,756, as nearly 2,500 FEMA employees continue working with applicants to manually review every application, determining eligibility each week.

Once an individual applies, FEMA sends a letter outlining the required documentation needed to process their application. The process to determine eligibility starts after an applicant submits all required documentation. FEMA developed a process to ensure applicants have ample time to collect and submit required documents for assistance. While some jurisdictions provide or amend death certificates in four to six weeks,  others may take longer. FEMA will make calls and send additional letters reminding applicants of the required documents.

In California, there were 23,627 applications with 3,861 applicants awarded for a total sum of $25,840,240.

Applicants may apply by calling 844-684-6333 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. Multilingual services are available. Applicants who use a relay service, such as a videophone, Innocaption or CapTel, should provide FEMA with the specific number assigned to them for that service so that agency representatives are able to contact them.

As a reminder, phone calls from FEMA may come from an unidentified number. Those calling the COVID-19 funeral assistance helpline typically wait just a few seconds before being routed to a live agent after listening to a recorded message. And once the applicant submits all required documentation, FEMA is able to make an eligibility determination in less than 30 days.

Additional information about COVID-19 funeral assistance, including frequently asked questions, is available on