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FEMA begins accepting applications for COVID-19 funeral reimbursements

By
Don Johnson
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announce the launch of the Federal Emergency Management Administration hotline on Monday to help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-hit families in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announce the launch of the Federal Emergency Management Administration hotline on Monday to help pay for the funeral and burial of COVID-hit families in New York City. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

April 12 (UPI) -- Beginning Monday under a program announced last month, American families can now apply to have the federal government help pay for COVID-19-related funeral expenses.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has begun accepting applications for Americans to receive as much as $9,000 in assistance per funeral.

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Under FEMA's aid program, a person may apply for aid for multiple funerals, with a maximum of $35,500 per application.

Eligible death certificates must indicate that the death was attributed to COVID-19. FEMA said costs will be reimbursed for funerals held between Jan. 20 and Dec. 31, 2020.

To be eligible for funeral assistance, FEMA says the death must have occurred in the United States or U.S. territories and the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen national or qualified alien. There is no requirement that the dead person was a U.S. citizen.

Those eligible for funeral assistance will be reimbursed by mail or direct deposit. Click here for eligibility requirements and how to apply.

"Our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters," Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton said in a statement last month. "The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate."

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Under the aid program, applicants will not be reimbursed for costs that were paid by funeral insurance or other forms of aid.

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National Institutes of Health official Dr. Anthony Fauci (C) speaks about the coronavirus during a press briefing at the White House in Washington, D.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Alexander Azar (L) announced that the United States is declaring the virus a public health emergency and issued a federal quarantine order of 14 days for 195 Americans. Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo

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