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FEMA accepting applications to help pay for COVID-related funeral expenses starting Monday

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says this Monday, it will begin accepting applications for a program that provides financial assistance for funeral expenses relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program provides up to $9,000 for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, for deaths attributed to COVID-19. The assistance is intended to help with funeral services and interment or cremation expenses.

“COVID-19 has impacted many of our families and friends,” said Hawaii Emergency Management Administrator Luke Meyers in a news release. “This assistance will help relieve some burden related to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

COVID-19 funeral assistance will be available to applicants based on the following criteria:

>> The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19.

>> If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.

>> An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.

>> The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

>> A maximum amount of $35,500 is allowed per application.

Applicants are encouraged to gather the required documentation, including an official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U. S.

The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms, officials said, but similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient.

FEMA will need funeral expense documents, including receipts and funeral home contract that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred, along with proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs and financial assistance received from other sources.

Starting Monday, a dedicated Funeral Assistance Line will be available to help people apply at 800-462-7585 or 844-684-6333. The line will be available from 3 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday.

More information is available at fema.gov under disasters, coronavirus, recovery & economic support, then COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

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