by: Aleksandra Bush, Nexstar/Ozarks First
The Federal Emergency Management Agency is now accepting applications for its funeral assistance program, which will reimburse funeral expenses to those who have lost family members to COVID-19.
According to FEMA’s website, $2 billion was provided to FEMA through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Act of 2021 to reimburse individuals and households for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred between Jan. 20 and December 2020.
FEMA says 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.
Those who qualify, can complete an application by calling FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). No online applications are being accepted.
According to FEMA’s website, 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
Depending on which option you chose when applying, funds will be directly deposited or a check will be sent through thre mail.
FEMA has received reports of scammers reaching out to people to register them for funeral assistance. The agency says it does not contact people prior to them registering.
NewsNation affiliate WJW contributed to this report.