I heard something about funds to help with COVID-19 deaths?

YES. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Administration) whose mission it is to help people before, during and after disasters will have funds available starting April 12, 2021 to reimburse up to $9,000 per funeral to those that paid for burial of love ones from COVID. Funds were made available in the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
To qualify:
• The death had to occur in the US, including US territories and the District of Columbia after January 20, 2020.
• An official death certificate must state death was attributed directly or indirectly to COVID-19. Phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 will be considered sufficient.
• The applicant must be a US citizen, qualified alien, or non-citizen national. There is no requirement the deceased be born in the US.
• Funeral expenses documents must include the applicant’s name, show your name as the responsible party, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and date(s) the funeral expenses happened.
• There can be no duplication of benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, voluntary agencies, government agencies or other sources like donations. These amounts will be deducted so its possible to get partial assistance. Life insurance that was payable to an individual or an estate is reimbursable.
• Funeral expenses can also be for interment and cremation.
• Applicants may receive reimbursement for multiple deceased individuals up to a maximum of $35,000.
If multiple persons contributed toward funeral expenses, such as the children of a deceased parent, they should apply under one application as applicant and co-applicant. A minor child cannot apply even if he or she was the primary beneficiary of the decedent’s estate, however if all documentation supports the minor child’s payment of the funeral expenses FEMA will consider the application for possible assistance under terms not yet released.
NO ONLINE APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED BUT GATHER YOUR DOCUMENTS NOW. Once an applicant has applied and received an application number you will be able to upload, fax or mail documents. To register you will need your and the deceased person’s Social Security numbers, your and the deceased person’s date of birth, your current mailing address and phone number, location where the deceased passed away, information about burial and funeral insurance policies and other donations or payments made on the funeral bill, routing and account number for applicant if direct deposit is requested.
The following funeral expenses are covered:
• Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased person
• Transfer of remains
• A casket or urn
• Burial plot or cremation urn
• Marker or headstone
• Clergy or officiant services
• Arranging the funeral ceremony
• Use of funeral home equipment or staff
• Cremation or interment costs
• Cost of producing and certifying multiple death certificates
• Additional expenses mandated by local or state government laws or ordinances.
A hotline has been setup at 844-684-6333 or TTY for the deaf at 1-800-462-7588. The Office will be open from 8 AM to 8 PM Central Time after April 12, 2021. At present there is no deadline to apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.
DISCLAIMER The information given in this article is of a general nature and does not create an attorney-client relationship. You should always consult with an attorney one-on-one regarding the specific facts of your situation. April 2021

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