SoCal residents can soon access funds from FEMA to reimburse COVID-19-related funeral expenses

FILE - A casket is loaded into a hearse amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

Beginning in early April, residents in Southern California and nationwide will be able to apply for financial help for funeral expenses through FEMA's COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program.

To be eligible for the assistance, all the following FEMA-established conditions must be met:

  • 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; and
  • the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified non-citizen who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.

RELATED: FEMA to reimburse families for COVID-19-related funeral expenses

There are no residential or legal status requirements pertaining to the deceased person. Those who had COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to prepare to apply for FEMA funeral relief by gathering documentation that will be needed, such as:

  • an official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia;
  • funeral expense documents such as 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; and
  • proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. FEMA will not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

Applicants may apply for multiple deceased individuals. If multiple persons helped pay for funeral expenses for one individual, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicants.

FEMA's financial assistance is limited to a maximum amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. In the coming weeks, FEMA will be establishing a toll-free telephone number to assist applicants with their submissions, but in the meantime, eligible applicants can visit for additional information.

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