HOPEWELL, Va. (WWBT) - FEMA has now provided instructions on how families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 can begin applying for funeral reimbursements. The agency says a family can receive up to $9,000, and applications become available Monday.
“A lot of people are not ready for the transition when a loved one dies,” said William Bland of Bland Funeral Home. Since the pandemic, his company has seen its client load double. “It’s unexpected. It’s so unexpected and people are not really ready like they are when it’s not a pandemic.”
FEMA is preparing to reimburse families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 for funeral expenses. Now, the agency is explaining how that process will happen.
Eligible expenses include a casket or urn, a burial plot, or cremation niche, a marker or headstone, and other funeral related costs. In order to qualify, COVID-19 has to be documented on the death certificate.
“The doctor has to fill out the cause of death. He has to sign it,” said Funeral Director Fenton Bland. Families must also submit the funeral contract they received after they made arrangements. “These two things have to be submitted to FEMA,” he added. Without them, a family will not qualify for assistance.
FEMA will reimburse families for multiple loved ones who have died due to the virus.
“I think it’s a great asset to the family during this time of great need,” Fenton Bland said.
“People need help,” William Bland added.
FEMA is also saying don’t be fooled by scammers who are calling people at home telling them they can apply for assistance through them. Instead, you have to go directly through FEMA.
More information is available here.
Applications open on April 12. Individuals can call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance line number at 844-684-6333 or 800-462-7585. Calls will be taken Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Central Time.
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