Law Offices Of Deborah S. Ball

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The Federal government – through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) – is providing assistance for funeral expenses related to COVID-19. Click here to read more, and contact our offices with your questions about post-pandemic estate planning.


The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many to address life-plan concerns. We here at The Law Offices of Deborah S. Ball are ready to assist you, whether in person, by phone, or on Zoom.



New York State is changing the guidelines for creating a Power of Attorney (POA), effective June 13, 2021. Contact our offices to make sure your documents are up to date!

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Summary

Eligibility Requirements:

  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.  These categories are defined on the FAQ page.
  • The funeral expenses must have been on behalf of an individual whose death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the individual’s death was attributed, directly or indirectly, to COVID-19.
  • The deceased person need not have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
  • Only individuals may apply for assistance.  A business (e.g., a funeral home) may not apply on behalf of an individual or serve as a co-applicant.
  • An applicant may receive assistance for the funeral expenses of multiple deceased individuals.  Only one application may be submitted per deceased individual.
  • Assistance is not income dependent and an applicant’s household income will not impact eligibility.

Application Process:

  • FEMA began accepting applications on April 12, 2021.  There is currently no deadline to apply for funding.
  • No online applications will be accepted.  Individuals must call FEMA’s toll free COVID-19 funeral assistance line and apply over the phone.  The phone number and hours of operation are as follows:
  • Once the process is started, an individual will receive a unique application number.  They must provide required documentation to FEMA via upload to, fax, or mail.
  • Required documentation includes an official death certificate attributing the death to COVID-19, funeral expense documents, and proof of funds received from other sources to cover costs.  FEMA cannot duplicate benefits received from other sources.  More details on required information and other funding sources can be found on the FAQ page.
  • After a decision is reached, approved funding will be disbursed by check or direct deposit.  If funding is denied, an applicant must appeal within 60 days of the date of the decision.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number

Applications begin on April 12, 2021
844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

Hours of Operation:
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time

Allowable Expenses and Limitations:

  • The program is intended to cover expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.  A list of covered expenses can be found on FEMA’s FAQ page, though the list is not exhaustive.
  • Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.