FEMA will offer more financial aid for Covid funeral expenses starting next week.

Individuals who paid for the funeral and burial bills of somebody who died from Covid-19 shall be supplied expanded federal monetary assist beginning on Monday, in keeping with an announcement by the Federal Emergency Administration Company.

The coronavirus has claimed the lives of greater than 556,000 People, according to a New York Times database. Underneath the expanded help program, their survivors can apply for as much as $9,000 in reimbursement for the acquisition of a plot, burial, a gravestone, clergy providers, the switch of stays, cremation or different providers related to a funeral.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced overwhelming grief to many households,” the company mentioned in a statement announcing the expanded benefits. “At FEMA, our mission is to assist folks earlier than, throughout and after disasters. We’re devoted to serving to ease a number of the monetary stress and burden brought on by the virus.”

Congress authorised billions of {dollars} in funding for funeral advantages in two Covid aid measures, the one signed by former President Donald J. Trump in December and the one often known as the American Rescue Plan that President Biden signed final month.

Each measures embody added funds for funeral providers in an try to cushion the monetary blow to households, lots of whom are already struggling due to the lack of earnings within the financial downturn brought on by the pandemic.

To qualify for reimbursement, an applicant have to be a United States citizen or authorized everlasting resident who has documentation that they paid funeral bills for somebody whose demise “could have been brought on by” or “was seemingly a results of” Covid-19 or “Covid-19 like signs,” or whose data embody “related phrases that point out a excessive chance of Covid-19,” in keeping with FEMA. The one who died needn’t have been a United States citizen or resident, the company mentioned.

FEMA will reimburse funeral prices for a number of folks in the identical household, as much as a most of $35,000, in keeping with the company. However the quantity of federal help shall be lowered if candidates additionally obtained assist from different sources, together with insurance coverage insurance policies particularly designed to pay for funeral bills.

The hassle to melt the monetary burden of the pandemic is among the largest such efforts ever undertaken by the company. It additionally provides a possibility for fraud, because the company acknowledges in brilliant pink sort on its web site.

“Fraud Alert: Now we have obtained studies of scammers reaching out to folks providing to register them for funeral help,” the alert says. “FEMA has not despatched any such notifications and we don’t contact folks previous to them registering for help.”

The company will start taking purposes on Monday. Candidates can name a hotline at (844) 684-6333.

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