The Federal Emergency Management Agency is making financial resources available to help cover the funeral costs for people who have passed away from Coronavirus.

COVID-19 has had such a major impact across the planet. According to the World Health Organization, worldwide more than 125 million people have contracted Coronavirus and more than 2.7 people have died from the disease. Since last March, Erie County has seen more than 1,700 of those deaths because of Covid-19.

From fast-tracking vaccine development to various stimulus plans, government agencies across the county have had a myriad of different responses to the pandemic. Given all this hardship, we need all the help we can get and this particular plan to help with funeral expenses should help families who have been negatively impacted.

This assistance is a component of the American Rescue Plan that was passed by Congress and signed by President Biden earlier this year. FEMA will help with funeral expenses, up to $9,000, that occurred after January 20th.

FEMA will begin accepting applications in April, and to be eligible, all of the following conditions must be met:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and Washington, D.C.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
    • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

Once the application is available, you will need to have these documents available:

  • 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 expenses documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
  • 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.

People will be able to choose to receive a check or direct deposit if they are approved for assistance.

You can get more information about the program here on the FEMA Website.

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