MANCHESTER — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has authorized $2 billion to provide financial assistance to families who paid for funeral costs specifically related to COVID-19.

The reimbursement applies to funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. Claims are capped at $9,000.

Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium plans to provide its New Hampshire and Vermont families updated information and guidance for the reimbursement of funeral expenses. For example, Phaneuf says it will provide itemized funeral costs and assist with acquiring a death certificate.

“Phaneuf has assisted more than 275 families of people who died from COVID-19,” said Buddy Phaneuf, president of Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium. “Our care for families doesn’t end with a funeral service. We want to help them in any way we can, including guiding them through this funeral reimbursement process.”

FEMA has provided additional information about the funeral-reimbursement plan:

Who is eligible?

The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, as of Jan. 1, 2020.

The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified foreign-born U.S. resident who is not a U.S. citizen who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.

There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified non-resident.

How to apply

FEMA will begin accepting applications April 12. FEMA will release a toll-free number for an applicant to call to begin the reimbursement process.

Information FEMA will ask for in the call:

Household income (there is no income requirement to apply)

Social Security number for both the applicant and deceased

Information about funeral expenses you paid for

Bank routing info for direct deposit reimbursement

Following the call, FEMA will send a Request for Information letter, which includes access to a secure website login for applicants to complete the process. Applicants will upload funeral-related expenses files (in PDF or JPG file formats) to the secure website site.

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