covid funeral help

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken too many lives, said Arizona Congressman Ruben Gallego (D-Dist. 7) in a recent letter.

To help ease the burden for grieving families, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance of up to $9,000 per funeral for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020.

FEMA began accepting applications on Monday, April 12. To apply, call FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). The line will be open from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, Arizona time.

“As Arizona families continue to grieve the loss of loved ones to COVID-19, I hope this assistance will provide some relief. If my office can be of assistance, please send us an email or give us a call at 602-256-0551,” Gallego said.

While no online applications are accepted, additional details are available at FEMA.gov.

You may qualify if:

• You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020, and

• The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.

Who cannot apply?

• A minor child cannot apply on behalf of an adult who is not a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

• There are several categories of aliens lawfully present in the U.S. who are not eligible for FEMA’s Individual and Households Program assistance, including funeral assistance. These include, but are not limited to: temporary tourist visa holders, foreign students, temporary work visa holders, habitual residents such as citizens of the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands.

Documentation needed:

• Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual

• Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual

• Current mailing address for the applicant

• Current telephone number for the applicant

• Location or address where the deceased individual passed away

• Information about burial or funeral insurance policies

• Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations

• CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations

• Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)

• Death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of assistance received from any other source.

The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been caused by” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.

The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, or the District of Columbia.

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is not available for the funeral expenses of U.S. citizens who died outside the United States.

What funeral expenses are covered?

COVID-19 Funeral Assistance will assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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