FEMA grants $11.1M in COVID-19 funeral assistance: How much to Utah, and how to apply

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Funeral director Steven Correa wears gloves as he moves the casket of Gilberto Arreguin Camacho, 58, in preparation for burial following his death due to Covid-19 at Continental Funeral Home in East Los Angeles, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

(ABC4) – Since April, FEMA has been reimbursing families who lost a loved one to COVID-19.

The federal agency was allocated $2 billion through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act of 2021 to reimburse individuals or households for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred between January 20, 2020, and December 2020. President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan continues the assistance into 2021.

As of May 7, FEMA says it has received more than 171,000 applications and distributed more than $11.1 million.

In Utah alone, FEMA reports 618 applications have been found to be valid. Of those, 22 applicants have been awarded a total of $148,471.

West Virginia is the only state that has not received any of this funeral assistance, despite 843 valid applications submitted. Other U.S. territories – American Samoa, Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands – have also not received any funding despite valid applications.

These are the top five states that received the most funeral assistance from FEMA:

  1. Texas: $2,054,084 for 298 applicants
  2. New York: $1,005,001 for 136 applicants
  3. Ohio: $979,755 for 148 applicants
  4. California: $736,874 for 109 applicants
  5. Florida: $591,201 for 89 applicants

A full table of individual state data can be seen below.

Who is eligible?

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

  • Death must have occurred in the U.S., including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia
  • 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.

How to apply for funeral assistance

FEMA is beginning to accept applications for COVID-19 funeral assistance through a dedicated call center.

The call center can be reached at 844-684-6333. For individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, DeafBlind, or have speech disabilities, call 800-462-7585. The line is available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. CT.

FEMA is encouraging you to keep and gather the following documentation:

  • An official death certificate that attributes the death, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19 and shows the death occurred in the U.S., its territories, or the District of Columbia.
  • Funeral expenses documents, like receipts and funeral home contracts, that include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. FEMA says they are unable to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

How funeral assistance funds are received

If you are eligible to receive funeral assistance funds, you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.

Beware of scams

FEMA is reporting that scams related to funeral assistance funds are already happening. FEMA say it will not contact anyone until they have called FEMA or have applied for assistance.

Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date, or Social Security number of any deceased family member to any unsolicited telephone calls or e-mails from anyone claiming to be a federal employee or from FEMA.

If you doubt a FEMA representative is legitimate, you are encouraged to hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement agencies.

For more information on the Funeral Assistance Program, visit FEMA’s website.

State and territory funeral assistance breakdown

LocationValid ApplicationsFuneral Assistance DisbursedNumber of Applicants Awarded
ALABAMA3971$70,95511
ALASKA48$18,0002
AMERICAN SAMOA2$00
ARIZONA2,904$39,6469
ARKANSAS1,740$52,1518
CALIFORNIA18,648$736,874109
COLORADO935$27,52514
COMMONWEALTH OF THE NORTHERN MARIANAS 2$00
CONNECTICUT2,202$257,03133
DELAWARE468$53,9448
DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA 490$64,99810
FLORIDA 9,423$591,20189
GEORGIA 6,191$133,96417
GUAM7$00
HAWAII31$10,1032
IDAHO307$69,91812
ILLINOIS7,072$405,20953
INDIANA3,012$45,3906
IOWA1,647$5,4941
KANSAS1,397$4,9961
KENTUCKY2,353$79,53411
LOUISIANA3,483$41,0336
MAINE150$44,1027
MARYLAND3,126$102,06015
MASSACHUSETTS3,736$433,83163
MICHIGAN5,438$39,3245
MINNESOTA1,467$446,28069
MISSISSIPPI3,119$58,6037
MISSOURI3,010$23,7924
MONTANA275$3,2001
NEBRASKA723$60,5176
NEVADA 1,505$66,71711
NEW HAMPSHIRE291$43,61810
NEW JERSEY7,423$425,60462
NEW MEXICO896$34,1227
NEW YORK16,820$1,005,001136
NORTH CAROLINA4,677$448,25262
NORTH DAKOTA510$88,34511
OHIO5,937$979,755148
OKLAHOMA2,419$360,14050
OREGON355$30,4237
PENNSYLVANIA8,171$473,71868
PUERTO RICO650$14,2374
RHODE ISLAND849$295,56440
SOUTH CAROLINA3,475$119,14716
SOUTH DAKOTA522$176,83522
TENNESSEE4,378$33,6486
TEXAS15,312$2,054,084298
UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS10$00
UTAH618$148,47122
VERMONT49$9,0001
VIRGINIA3,430$385,15955
WASHINGTON868$38,2057
WEST VIRGINIA843$00
WISCONSIN2,880$73,12210
WYOMING114$58,2349

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