Jolene - you are genuinely a caring and compassionate person. Thank you so much for the many things you did to make Mom's service special. Your guidance and extra attention to all the details will always be remembered. Our entire family will always appreciate your comfort and sincerity.
You are such loving and sensitive person when it comes to helping people when they lost someone very dear to them.
You do absolutely great job, you have the care of the family, and you are very caring and sweet, we will continue to be so appreciative for how you handled my mother in laws arrangements!! You made it so much easier on such a terrible day! I can’t thank you enough
Soooo helpful, caring and loving to my family when Carl passed!
Jolene Dieckhoff Winter was so helpful when my dad passed. She is such a caring professional.
Jolene, I wish I cold find the perfect way to thank you for being such a thoughtful, caring person. You always seem to know just what people need and what will brighten their day. Kindness is such a part of your nature that I'm sure you're not even aware of some of the little things you do that make such a difference in someone's life. That's why I want you to know your generous spirit has touched my life more times than I can count. Thank you so much for just being you. This whole experience would have been (I believe) a lot worse if not for you. I don't even have words to express how much everything you have done means to us. Sometimes, it's the unexpected kindness that means the most. Thanks again!
Dear Jolene, Thank you so much for the great service you and your staff provided for my son Scott's funeral and visitation. It was so hard to have to plan my own child's funeral and you were so kind and compassionate to me and my family that it made it a little easier to get through. When you first met with me and my family, you took the time to find out what type of person Scott was, so that you could personalize the service to reflect his personality. You not only managed each detail for us, but you also took Scott's love for hunting and fishing and incorporated it into the casket and the floral decorations. I also appreciate the way you tied his love of the outdoors to his final farewell; it was so beautiful. The flower seeds that you handed out were a special added touch as well. It was nice to be able to say goodbye to my son in such a beautiful way. I also want you to know that I had checked with another funeral home to get an estimate and your cost was very comparable, which was important. Thank you again for the way you worked so closely with my family and for the wonderful job you and your staff did to make it a little easier to get through. God Bless, Jeanie Hurley Smith
Dear John Brater, I am writing to tell you of how grateful I am for the wonderful service that you and your staff provided for my wife Erika's funeral in May 2011. Everything was conducted with speed, efficiency and elegance meaning that we knew from the beginning that we were in very good hands. Jolene Winter is an angel. When she told me of how she was going to help me organize my finances I was greatly relieved. My mind was consumed with grief, shock and uncertainty but her professionalism, profound knowledge and patience shed a beam of light during a very dark time. I would not hesitate to recommend your services and will never forget all that you have done for us. Thank you so very much.
My family and I became quite familiar with Jolene Winter in August of 2008 when my husband, Gary, passed suddenly with stage IV colon cancer. From day one, she made herself available to us at all times and offered us comfort and support each step of the way. Minutes after my husband passed, we were pressed with the decision of whether or not to donate his eyes. We decided to do it, but I was leary for days after. Jolene took the time to hear my concerns and assured me that we had made the right decision. In a time when life was so hectic and unpredictable, I quickly learned that Jolene was someone I could approach, talk to, and feel at ease. Her knowledge and experience, in my mind, make her an unparalleled source of assistance for those who have lost someone special. About a week after Gary’s funeral, Jolene stopped by our house and literally took care of everything; she filed insurance claims, dealt with social security, credit cards, utilities, down to the smallest detail. She was well organized, and all I had to do was sit across the table and confirm. I couldn’t imagine taking that step on my own, and in such a fragile state. Jolene was a lifesaver, and I cannot fully express my gratitude to her.
Jolene; Angels on Earth are here if you Believe, Not always with wings and halo's. Thank you for being one, and going beyond the call of duty in preparing Jason's last journey to be laid to rest at the Gates of Heaven.
I think the best compliment I have received so far in my career came the other day from a family... "Jolene if you were a dentist you would make a root canal enjoyable." I am so blessed to work with wonderful families and I thank everyone for your continued friendships after each funeral.
We are always interested in hearing from the families that we serve. Please take a moment to let us know how well we served you in your time of need. We very much appreciate your feedback.
Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?
You may qualify if:
You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and
The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.
A minor child cannot apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
How do I apply?
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FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.
We are working to set up a dedicated toll-free phone number that can be used to apply for funeral assistance. You will be able to call this number to get an application completed with help from FEMA's representatives.
No online applications will be accepted.
Multilingual services and a TTY number will be available.
Once an applicant has applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and is provided an application number, they may provide supporting documentation to FEMA a few ways:
Upload to their DisasterAssistance.gov account
What funeral expenses are covered?
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation. Any receipts received for expenses that are not related to funeral services will not be determined eligible expenses. Expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation typically include, but are not limited to:
Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
Transfer of remains
Casket or urn
Burial plot or cremation niche
Marker or headstone
Clergy or officiant services
Arrangement of the funeral ceremony
Use of funeral home equipment or staff
Cremation or interment costs
Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
I was responsible for funeral expenses for more than one person whose death was attributed to COVID-19. Can I apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for more than one death? Is there a limit?
Yes, applicants may receive assistance for the funeral expenses of multiple deceased individuals.
Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.
Someone else helped me pay for funeral expenses. Can they apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?
FEMA will generally only provide COVID-19 Funeral Assistance to one applicant per deceased individual.
To be approved for reimbursement of funeral expenses due to a COVID-19 fatality, you must have incurred funeral expenses for the deceased individual and have documentation (receipts, funeral home contracts, etc.) showing your name as the responsible party.
We recognize that multiple individuals may have contributed to funeral expenses for one deceased individual. FEMA will work with applicants in these situations and those who submit multiple receipts for funeral expenses when their name does not appear on the receipt.
If more than one individual contributed toward funeral expenses, they must register with FEMA under the same application as the applicant and co-applicant, or the first applicant that submits all required documentation will be awarded COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for the deceased individual. No more than one co-applicant can be included on an application.
If a minor child directly incurred funeral expenses for a COVID-19-related death and the documentation supports that payment, the minor child’s application could be reviewed for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.
Can I apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance even though I’ve already applied for a recent disaster event?
Yes. Applicants who recently applied for FEMA assistance for home and/or personal property damage from a disaster and also had funeral expenses for a death attributed to COVID-19 after January 20, 2020, may apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. A separate application will be required.
What is the deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance?
At this time, there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. FEMA will communicate a specific deadline once established.
What information do I need to provide when I register?
The applicant responsible for COVID-19 funeral expenses will need to provide the following information below when they call FEMA to register for assistance. We recommend gathering this information now as we prepare to open the application process.
Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual
Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
Current mailing address for the applicant
Current telephone number for the applicant
Location or address where the deceased individual passed away
Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations
CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations
Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)
What documentation do I need?
You must provide a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of assistance received from any other source.
The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, or the District of Columbia.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is not available for the funeral expenses of U.S. citizens who died outside the United States.
Documentation for expenses (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include the applicant’s name as the person responsible for the expense, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and that funeral expenses were incurred after January 20, 2020.
The applicant must also provide FEMA with proof of funds received from other sources specifically used for funeral costs. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government programs or agencies, or other sources. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance the applicant received for the same expenses.
Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of Funeral Assistance benefits.
The death certificate doesn’t attribute the death to COVID-19. How do I get a death certificate amended?
It is possible to change or amend a death certificate. This process starts with contacting the person who certified the death. This may be a treating doctor, a coroner or a medical examiner, and their name and address is on the death certificate. Applicants may present evidence to them to support the claim the death was attributable to COVID-19.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families.
Call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 for immediate help and support.
The American Red Cross is operating a Virtual Family Assistance Center to provide comfort, support, information and resource referrals for families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
All support will be provided virtually and is completely confidential. Call 833-492-0094 or visit the Virtual Family Assistance Center website.
Beware of Scams
Will FEMA contact me to ask for personal information to register?
FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Program has controls in place to mitigate fraudulent activity. FEMA will not contact anyone until they have called FEMA or have applied for assistance. Do not disclose information such as the name, birth date or social security number of any deceased family member to any unsolicited telephone calls or e-mails from anyone claiming to be a federal employee or from FEMA.
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If you doubt a FEMA representative is legitimate, hang up and report it to the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. Complaints also may be made by contacting local law enforcement agencies.
Last updated March 29, 2021