FEMA AssistanceUnder the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021
We know all too well how the COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to so many families. While the following will not change the loss we’ve experienced, it will be of help to many, and we wanted to make sure that it made it to your attention.
FEMA is now trying to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus. Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.
FEMA will begin to implement COVID-19 funeral assistance in April. Please be aware there are scammers reaching out to bereaved families now, FEMA will NOT contact you, that is fraudulent.
Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released to potential applicants and community partners as soon as possible.
If this situation applies to you, a loved one, a neighbor or a friend, the most important thing to do before the application process begins is to gather all materials.
To be eligible for funeral assistance, you must meet these conditions:
· The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
· 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.
In April, FEMA will begin accepting applications. If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses, you are encouraged to keep and gather documentation. Types of information should include:
· 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. We are not able to duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources.
For more details you can go to this page: Funeral Assistance FAQ.
They will be setting up a phone number which will start the application process. The website with all information on applying is here: COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. A phone number should be available soon for applicants.
We hope that this program at least eases the financial burden of a painful tragedy. Please be in touch with clergy if you need any help accessing this assistance.
Rabbi David Z. Vaisberg
Cantor Jessica Epstein
Max Edwards, Rabbinical Assistant