Wednesday, April 21, 2021
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FEMA will offer more financial aid for Covid funeral expenses starting next week.

People who paid for the funeral and burial expenses of somebody who died from Covid-19 will be provided expanded federal financial help starting on Monday, based on an announcement by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The coronavirus has claimed the lives of more than 556,000 Americans, based on a New York Times database. Under the expanded help program, their survivors can apply for as much as $9,000 in reimbursement for the acquisition of a plot, burial, a gravestone, clergy providers, the switch of stays, cremation or different providers related to a funeral.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families,” the company stated in an announcement asserting the expanded advantages. “At FEMA, 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.”

Congress authorised billions of {dollars} in funding for funeral advantages in two Covid aid measures, the one signed by former President Donald J. Trump in December and the one often called the American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed final month.

Both measures embody added funds for funeral providers in an try to cushion the financial blow to households, a lot of whom are already struggling due to the lack of revenue within the financial downturn brought on by the pandemic.

To qualify for reimbursement, an applicant should be a United States citizen or authorized everlasting resident who has documentation that they paid funeral expenses for somebody whose dying “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of” Covid-19 or “Covid-19 like symptoms,” or whose information embody “similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of Covid-19,” based on FEMA. The one who died needn’t have been a United States citizen or resident, the company stated.

FEMA will reimburse funeral prices for a number of folks in the identical household, as much as a most of $35,000, based on the company. But the quantity of federal help will be lowered if candidates additionally acquired help from different sources, together with insurance coverage insurance policies particularly designed to pay for funeral expenses.

The effort to melt the financial burden of the pandemic is likely one of the largest such efforts ever undertaken by the company. It additionally provides a possibility for fraud, because the company acknowledges in vivid pink sort on its website.

“Fraud Alert: We have received reports of scammers reaching out to people offering to register them for funeral assistance,” the alert says. “FEMA has not sent any such notifications and we do not contact people prior to them registering for assistance.”

The company will start taking functions on Monday. Applicants can name a hotline at (844) 684-6333.

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