FEMA will help pay for funeral costs related to COVID-19

Local News
Darryl Hutchinson

FILE – In this July 21, 2020, file photo, Darryl Hutchinson, facing camera, is hugged by a relative during a funeral service for Lydia Nunez, who was Hutchinson’s cousin at the Metropolitan Baptist Church in Los Angeles. Nunez died from COVID-19. Southern California funeral homes are turning away bereaved families because they’re running out of space for the bodies piling up during an unrelenting coronavirus surge. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, will help cover costs for funerals of loved ones who died of COVID-19. People could be eligible for up to $7,000.

The money was recently approved in the $1.9T American Rescue Plan Act signed by President Biden.

“We are working with stakeholder groups to get their input on ways we can best provide this assistance, and to enlist their help with outreach to families and communities. FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April,” according to FEMA’s website.

Although specifics of eligibility have not been finalized, to be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet at least these 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 will begin accepting applications in April. People are encouraged to keep documentation of COVID-19 funeral expenses which should include the following types of information:

  • 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.

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