BY: DAVID SHEPHERD, NEWS DIRECTOR
STATEWIDE -- FEMA has announced it will provide financial assistance for some COVID-related funeral expenses.
The assistance comes as part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and President Biden’s American Rescue Plan Act.
Under those bills, FEMA will provide financial assistance to pandemic-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet the following conditions:
- The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- 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 alien 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 alien.
FEMA plans to begin offering the funeral assistance sometime next month.
On its website, FEMA says, " The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus."
How to Apply
In April, FEMA will begin accepting applications. If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, we encourage you to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:
- An official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
- Funeral expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.
How are Funds Received
If you are eligible for funeral assistance you will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option you choose when you apply for assistance.