Funeral assistance for COVID-19 victims available through FEMA

Kern County Public Health


May 8, 2021

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is accepting applications for funeral assistance and reimbursement through its Funeral Assistance Helpline. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

 COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation, and typically includes, but is not limited to:

• Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual

• Transfer of remains

• Casket or urn

• Burial plot or cremation niche

• Marker or headstone

• Clergy or officiant services

• Arrangement of the funeral ceremony

• Use of funeral home equipment or staff

• Cremation or interment costs

• Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates

• Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances 

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.

“We appreciate FEMA making this assistance available to families who have experienced a tragic loss during the pandemic,” said Brynn Carrigan, Director of Kern County Public Health. “We want to ensure our community is aware of this valuable resource and has the information needed to pursue it.”

To begin the application process, individuals can call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at (844) 684-6333 | TTY: (800) 462-7585. The helpline is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST.

 Learn more on FEMA website:


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