Beginning next month, the agency said it would begin accepting applications from families who held funerals that occurred between Jan. 20 and Dec. 31, 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families,” FEMA said. “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.”
According to a release, FEMA said it has $2 billion dollars for reimbursements, which comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act.
FEMA said that individuals who apply for the funeral assistance program will be required to present an official death certificate indicating a COVID-19-attributed death, documents showing funeral costs, and proof of funds received from other sources specially used toward funeral costs, such as burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or others.
The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus-related death of a family member or members must have occurred in the United States, including its territories, FEMA said.
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020, the agency added, noting that there is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
FEMA said that if individuals are eligible for funeral assistance, they will receive a check by mail, or funds by direct deposit, depending on which option is chosen upon applying for assistance.
“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,” the agency said.
“Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, people who have COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to keep and gather documentation.”
It added that a toll-free phone number will be set up so people can apply for assistance.