NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Beginning Monday people could get reimbursed by FEMA if they held a funeral for a loved one who died from COVID-19.

People will be able to apply and receive up to $9,000 per funeral with the right paperwork and a 20-minute phone interview.

This is the largest program of its type offered by the federal government.

The $9,000 will not only take care of the funeral, but it can help with cemetery arrangements and a permanent memorial for the family.

Each applicant can receive up to $35,000, less than four funerals.

West Harpeth Funeral Home said it saw a 20-30% increase in funerals the past year.

The reimbursement will be good for families who had a funeral, but also those who still plan to have one.

“There’s things families have missed out on that this relief fund is going to be able to help those families hopefully have the peace of mind and the healing that they need after the loss of a loved one,” said Ben Upton, West Harpeth Funeral Homes.

To receive assistance, the death certificate must say the person died from COVID-19. A family can request through the certifying physician or medical examiner to amend the death certificate to include COVID.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen while the decedent does not have to be. The death must have occurred in the United States and be attributed to COVID-19.

For the 20-minute phone interview, the applicant will need the following information:

  • Applicant’s name, address, phone number, email address, Social Security number, date of birth and annual household income
  • Decedent’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, date of death and place of death
  • Applicant will then go online to create a mandatory account where all the documents will be uploaded.

Information that will need to be uploaded to the website includes:

  • Signed and dated copy of the funeral home’s goods and services contract
  • Payment receipt/paid-in-full statement
  • Copy of death certificate, in which COVID, COVID-19, Coronavirus or COVID-like symptoms must be stated as the primary or secondary cause
  • Final resting place
  • Cemetery marker or final inscription expense contract and payment receipt(s)
  • Proof of funds received from other sources such as prepaid funeral agreement, final expense insurance, burial insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary programs or agencies, government programs or agencies including any VA benefits, non-profit organizations or other publicly raised funds specific to the funeral, burial or cremation expenses.

Click to see frequently asked questions.

For more, call the COVID Funeral Assistance phone line at 844-684-6333 or 800-462-7585.


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