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Reimbursement for COVID-19 Funeral Expenses and Medical Bills: Help is Available

If you know any loved ones that have passed due to COVID-19, they may be eligible for reimbursement for funeral expenses. That’s right, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) will reimburse up to $9,000 per death and up to $35,000 per applicant, if multiple deaths.

REIMBURSED FUNERAL EXPENSES

As of January 3, 2022, FEMA has provided over $1.6 billion to more than 247,000 people to assist with COVID-19 related funeral expenses for deaths occurring after January 20, 2020.

How do I qualify?

  • The applicant must be a United States citizen
  • Funeral expenses must have occurred on or after January 20, 2020
  • You will need a certified copy of the death certificate
  • The death certificate MUST state that the cause of death “may have been caused by COVID-19” or “was likely the result of COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms” (Note: If the death occurred between January 20. 2020 and May 16, 2020, and the death certificate does not state that the death was attributed to COVID-19, FEMA may accept a signed statement by a medical official or coroner who certified the death and linked it to COVID-19)
  • The death must have occurred in the United States

What is covered?

FEMA will reimburse up to $9,000 for funeral expenses. Eligible expenses included, but not limited to:

  • Transportation to identify the deceased
  • Transfer of remains,
  • Burial plat or cremation niche
  • A marker or headstone
  • Clergy or officiant services
  • The use of funeral home equipment or staff
  • Cremation or interment costs

How do I apply?

  • Provide FEMA a certified copy of the death certificate
  • Provide receipts for all funeral expenses that are NOT covered by funeral assistance that would be duplicative
  • Provide documents or receipts for funeral expenses from other sources, if any (i.e. burial/funeral insurance, donations, government programs or non-profit organizations)

Documents can be uploaded to the FEMA website at DisasterAssistance.gov; faxed to 855-251-3452 or mailed to: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance, P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782.

The next step is to call FEMA at 800-985-5990 (no online applications will be accepted). Simply provide:

  • Your name, social security number, date of birth, mailing address and phone number
  • The deceased’s name, social security number, date of birth, location or address where he/she died
  • The name and same info for up to one co-applicant if more than one person incurred expenses besides yourself

For further information go to: https://www.fema.gov/disaster/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance

REIMBURSED MEDICAL BILLS FOR THE UNINSURED

 In addition, the Administration is providing support to health care providers fighting the COVID-19 pandemic through the COVID-19 Claims Reimbursement to Health Care Providers and Facilities for Testing, Treatment and Vaccine Administration for the Uninsured Program. This applies to ALL uninsured people, regardless of their immigration status.

Therefore, if you are handling a Probate that involved a COVID-19 death, be aware that the medical bills may be waived and a Medical Assistance Lien should not be allowed. I have a current client who lost her husband to COVID-19. She received bills in excess of $400,000 from a hospital provider and $33,000 from the transportation services that had to airlift him to an alternative hospital. Interestingly, the bill for the $33,000 was waived with little problem. However, we are still battling the larger bill for his 2-week hospital stay before he passed. Clearly, not all medical providers are aware of how this program works. This is unchartered water for all. Just be aware that this help exists.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Michele R. Loughrey Tschida
Phone: 952-746-2152
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