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FEMA Can Help With Covid-19 Funeral Costs. Here’s What to Know.

FEMA Can Help With Covid-19 Funeral Costs. Here’s What to Know.
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FEMA Can Help With Covid-19 Funeral Costs. Here’s What to Know.

FEMA Can Help With Covid-19 Funeral Costs. Here’s What to Know.

Funerals can get expensive. The median cost of an adult funeral – including a casket, body visit, ceremony and burial – was $ 7,640 in 2019, according to the National Funeral Directors Association. (Updated data is expected this summer.)

Cremations have become more and more popular in recent years and are generally cheaper. The median cost of a “direct” cremation, with a container provided by the family, was $ 2,395 in 2019. (In a direct cremation, the body is cremated shortly after death without services such as embalming or visiting hours.)

Here are some questions and answers about the funeral and FEMA’s aid program:

Applicants should call the agency’s hotline at 844-684-6333. According to the FEMA website, no online applications will be accepted. Applicants must provide the name of the deceased, the date of the funeral and documentation of expenses. The documents can be uploaded to a special website or sent by fax or mail, depending on the hotline.

Many funeral homes notify families of the federal program, but funeral directors cannot seek help on their behalf, said Randy Anderson, president-elect of the National Funeral Directors Association, an industry group. Administrators can however help provide documentation of costs and copies of death certificates.

More details are available on the agency’s website.

Eligible costs include transportation of up to two people to identify the deceased, a casket or urn, funeral land and gravestone, organization of the funeral ceremony, and cremation or burial costs.

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Advice is available online from the Federal Trade Commission; the Funeral Consumers Alliance, a nonprofit group; and the National Association of Funeral Directors.

State regulators also offer information online, but most do a lackluster job giving consumers information about their rights when arranging funerals and related services, according to a new report.

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