Grieving the death of a loved one is stressful, and other stressors, such as financial pressures, health issues, or job or home loss, can preoccupy our thoughts, making it difficult to focus on our grief. The resources on this page have been gathered to assist you with day-to-day needs and help you manage during these challenging times.
FEMA Assistance for Burial Expenses
You may be hearing media reports about FEMA assistance for funeral expenses due to COVID-19. What is known at this time is that the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 (a COVID relief package), which became law on December 27, 2020, included $2 billion FEMA assistance for funeral expenses for deaths due to COVID between January 20 and December 31, 2020; it does not include deaths due to COVID that occurred in 2021. After this bill became law, it became FEMA's responsibility to determine how to implement it (e.g., determine who is eligible, what funeral-related expenses are eligible, how much is available to each family, how families can apply, etc.).
Final FEMA policy regarding the reimbursement amount, who may qualify for reimbursement, the eligible expenses and an application process has not been determined yet (as of February 18, 2021).
This information will be updated as details become available.
The American Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center
The American Red Cross Virtual Family Assistance Center provides critical support resources to individuals and families following the death of a family member due to COVID-19. The assistance center’s extensive national and local resources include emotional support and grief counseling; faith-based resources; funeral information; legal resources; financial information resources; and veterans’ assistance; plus online community resilience training and individual and group emotional support for frontline workers. In addition, a team of specially-trained volunteers is available by calling toll-free 822-492-0094 or through a call-back program. Red Cross volunteers assist individuals with emotional and spiritual support, assistance with basic medical questions, and access to community resources.
Making funeral arrangements can be stressful, particularly during a time when personal finances may be affected by job or income loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As you discuss options with your funeral director, it is very important that you are open and honest about your budget. Your funeral director will work with you and your budget to plan a meaningful tribute within the guidelines outlined above. For more information about financial arrangements and payment options, including programs that offer financing terms with no interest on principle, visit the Financial Arrangements page.
Important Information for Families of First Responders, Frontline Healthcare Workers and Volunteers During the Pandemic
The Brave of Heart Fund
The Brave of Heart Fund was established by The New York Life Foundation and Cigna Foundation to provide monetary grants to eligible family members of frontline healthcare workers and healthcare volunteers who lose their lives because of COVID 19. The cash grant awards will provide basic and continuing financial support for common needs, such as funeral costs, medical care, counseling, food, educational expenses of children and other dependents currently in school, mortgage or rent payments, and immediate living expenses, as these family members manage the impact of the COVID 19 crisis and begin to move forward.
To learn more, verify eligibility or donate to the fund, visit braveofheartfund.com
First Responders Children's Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund
First Responders Children’s Foundation awards grants to individuals and to public safety agencies. Grants to individuals support children who have endured financial hardship and whose first responder parents have lost their lives or sustained serious injuries in the line of duty. Grants to public safety agencies support programs created and operated by first responders that impact children and the communities in which they live.
First responders are paramedics, emergency medical technicians, police officers, firefighters, and employees directly supporting police and fire departments such as 911 dispatchers. The brave medical personnel and staff of the emergency services of the hospitals and health facilities that are treating COVID-19 patients shall be deemed first responders for the purpose of being eligible for grants from the COVID-19 Emergency Response Fund.
To learn more, verify eligibility or donate to the fund, visit the First Responders Children's Foundation website.