Bamberg, South Carolina (April 2021) – Beginning April 12, 2021, FEMA will begin accepting applications from individuals who have incurred funeral expenses for a death attributed to COVID-19. Qualifying individuals must call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line after April 12, 2021, at 844-684-6333 to complete an application. The phone lines are open Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
"At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters," said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate."
Eligible individuals must have paid funeral expenses after January 20, 2020 and the COVID-19 related death must have occurred in the United States or its territories. The funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. The maximum assistance is $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,000 per application. An applicant can apply for assistance for multiple deceased individuals.
To expedite the application process, applicants are encouraged to gather the official death certificate attributing the death to COVID-19, funeral expense documents, and any proof of funds received from other sources used toward funeral costs.
FEMA is also cautioning the public to be aware of scams involving the funeral assistance funds; FEMA will not be offering assistance in registering individuals for funeral assistance funding. Any call or email offering assistance in the application is most likely a scam as FEMA does not plan to offer this type of assistance.
“Bamberg County encourages all eligible citizens who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 to apply for this financial assistance to offset some of the financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Joey Preston, Bamberg County Administrator. “Please be aware of the potential scams arising as a result of this program and apply directly to FEMA at their Funeral Assistance Line.”
For more information about the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance fund and application visit the website: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance