Big Island Coronavirus Updates

FEMA to Help Pay Funeral Costs for COVID-19-Related Deaths

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Beginning April 12, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start taking applications for the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy which will help ease some of the financial stress and burden of the coronavirus by providing financial assistance for funeral expenses relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy could provide up to $9,000 for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, for deaths attributed to COVID-19.

“COVID-19 has impacted many of our families and friends. This assistance will help relieve some burden related to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Hawai’i Emergency Management Administrator Luke Meyers.

According to FEMA’s guidance, COVID-19 funeral assistance will be available to applicants based on the following criteria and eligibilities.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.


If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.

An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.

The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia. This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum amount of $35,500 per application.

Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.


A dedicated Funeral Assistance Line has been set up to help people apply. Applicants can dial 800-462-7585 or 844-684-6333, Monday-Friday from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time.

The line will be active beginning April 12, 2021. Until that time, applicants are encouraged to begin gathering the required documentation.

Applicants should have the following documentation gathered when they apply.

An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.


Funeral expense documents – receipts, funeral home contract, etc. – that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred.

Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs.
Financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial programs or agencies, or other sources.

More information regarding this assistance can be found here. The website will be continually updated.

For questions, contact the FEMA Office of External Affairs:

Congressional Affairs at 202-646-4500 or [email protected].
Intergovernmental Affairs at 202-646-3444 or [email protected].
Tribal Affairs at 202-646-3444 or [email protected].
Private Sector Engagement at [email protected].

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