Residents Can Soon Access Funeral Expense Relief from FEMA

Residents Can Soon Access Funeral Expense Relief from FEMA

Taylor Martinez & City News Service

Beginning in early April, residents in Riverside County and nationwide will be able to apply for financial help for funeral expenses through FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program.

To be eligible for the assistance, all the following FEMA-established conditions must be met:

— the death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia;

— the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19; and

— the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified non-citizen who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.

There are no residential or legal status requirements pertaining to the deceased person. Those who had COVID-19 funeral expenses are encouraged to prepare to apply for FEMA funeral relief by gathering documentation that will be needed, such as:

— an official death certificate that attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia;

— funeral expense documents such as receipts and funeral home contracts that include the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened; and

— proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. FEMA will not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.

Applicants may apply for multiple deceased individuals. If multiple persons helped pay for funeral expenses for one individual, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicants.

FEMA’s financial assistance is limited to a maximum amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. In the coming weeks, FEMA will be establishing a toll-free telephone number to assist applicants with their submissions, but in the meantime, eligible applicants can visit FEMA.gov for additional information.

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