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Help available for final expenses of COVID victims

 
December 26, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) can ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus, offering up to $9,000 to help offset the funeral expenses of a person who died of causes related to COVID-19.

In Boundary County to date, 51 people have died of COVID-19, and those responsible for their final expenses could be reimbursed.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred on or after January 20, 2020.

The benefit is available if the applicant is a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses on or after January 20, 2020, and he funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by, or was likely the result of, COVID-19.

Funeral expenses covered include, but are not limited to funeral services, cremation, interment, transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual, transfer of remains, casket or urn, burial plot or cremation niche, marker or headstone, clergy or officiant services, arrangement of the funeral ceremony, use of funeral home equipment or staff, costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates and additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances.

To apply, those who incurred the expenses must call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline, 1-844-684-6333 between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. PST Monday through Friday. Online applications are not available, and only the responsible individual can apply; the funeral home cannot make application on your behalf.

The official death certificate is required to complete the application to show that the death occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.

If the certificate was issued between January 20 and May 16, 2020, it must attribute the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 or be accompanied by a signed statement from the original certifier of the death certificate or the local medical examiner or coroner from the jurisdiction in which the death occurred listing COVID-19 as a cause or contributing cause of death. This signed statement must provide an additional explanation, or causal pathway, linking the cause of death listed on the death certificate to COVID-19. If the death certificate occurred on or after May 17, 2020, the death certificate must attribute the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19.

To learn more, click here.

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