SEVERE WX : Severe Thunderstorm Watch - Flood Warning - Severe Thunderstorm Warning - Severe Weather Statement View Alerts

FEMA Accepting Applications for up to $9,000 for Covid-19 Funeral Expenses

While FEMA has aided families with disaster-related burial costs in the past, the Covid-19 effort is the largest of its type.

Posted: Apr 12, 2021 4:41 PM
Updated: Apr 12, 2021 4:44 PM

Families who lost loved ones to Covid-19 can now get help with funeral expenses from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The agency launched on Monday a hotline -- 844-684-6333 -- to apply for up to $9,000 in assistance per burial.

While FEMA has aided families with disaster-related burial costs in the past, the Covid-19 effort is the largest of its type. Some $2 billion was allocated as part of the $900 billion relief deal Congress approved in December, while the Democrats' $1.9 trillion package last month bolstered it by providing the agency with an additional $50 billion to use for coronavirus-related costs.

To qualify, the death must have occurred in the US or its territories, and funeral expenses must have been incurred after January 20, 2020. The death certificate must indicate that the death was attributed to or likely caused by Covid-19 or coronavirus-like symptoms.

While the applicant must be a US citizen or legal resident, there is no requirement that the deceased person meet this criteria.

Covered expenses include the transfer of remains, burial plot, casket, clergy services, cremation and headstone, among other costs. But the aid will be reduced if the applicant received benefits from burial or funeral insurance or financial assistance from other sources.

FEMA has received "thousands of calls" and the call center is experiencing "some technical issues" on its first day of operation, the agency said. Some applicants are receiving busy signals.

"We ask that applicants be patient as we work to correct these issues and have all their important documents ready when they call to apply," FEMA said. "Please know there is no deadline to apply and applicants will have the ability to open a case."

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, both New York Democrats, have been pushing for the aid since the pandemic began ravaging their state in March 2020.

"We started fighting for burial relief a year ago, after Elmcor told us families were choosing between burying their loved ones with dignity and paying rent," Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Monday, referring to a New York City-based non-profit group. "Today, those families will finally start to see some relief. Thank you to @SenSchumer for his partnership on this effort."

More than 562,000 people have died from Covid-19 in the US.

Evansville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Owensboro
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 67° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 52°
Princeton
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Madisonville
Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 45°
Feels Like: 55°
Jasper
Cloudy
52° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 52°
We're tracking more active weather that's expected to hit our area early to late afternoon. All eyes are on a cold front moving in from the northwest. It looks as though some of the storms embedded within this line of rainfall may produce both wind gusts in excess of 40 or 50 mph along with pockets of large hail. As a result, the Storm Prediction Center of America has placed the majority of the Tri-State under a "1" on the Threat index for this afternoon and early evening. Our far southwestern communities are under a Slight Risk "2" - those communities include portions of Illinois (Saline, Hamilton, Gallatin, White, Hardin Counties) and Kentucky (Union, Crittenden, Caldwell Counties).
WEVV 4K Doppler Radar
WEVV 7-Day Forecast
WEVV Watches & Warnings

Community Events