PA encourages applications for FEMA COVID-19 funeral assistance – Connect FM | Local news radio
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania – Pennsylvania Acting Insurance Commissioner Michael Humphreys and Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) Director Randy Padfield today encouraged Pennsylvanians who have incurred funeral costs for a death related to the COVID-19 to apply for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program. to help ease the financial burden caused by the pandemic.
“The federal government has made this assistance available through FEMA to help families overcome the financial impact of paying for funerals after experiencing a devastating personal loss,” Acting Commissioner Humphreys said. “We encourage any Pennsylvanian who has lost a loved one to COVID-19 to determine if they may be eligible for financial assistance. Program can help reimburse Pennsylvanians for use of life insurance proceeds to cover funeral costs, although it does not provide reimbursement where the funds are specifically intended to pay for the funeral were used, according to FEMA material.
FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Program will provide financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020, for deaths related to COVID-19. To be eligible, the death related to COVID-19 must have occurred in the United States and the death certificate must attribute the death to COVID-19. Also, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien. It is not necessary that the deceased person was a US citizen, noncitizen, or qualified alien. Assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per request.
FEMA has provided $2 billion to help with COVID-19-related funeral costs for the more than 445,000 applications the program has received. In Pennsylvania, more than 16,000 applications were submitted in January 2022 and FEMA provided nearly $73 million in assistance.
“The mental, emotional and financial losses from COVID-19 have been devastating for many families,” said PEMA Director Padfield. “While no amount of financial help can ease the pain of losing a loved one, it can help ease the burden of those left behind.”
The Funeral Assistance Program will reimburse expenses incurred for funeral services, including, but not limited to, transportation to identify the deceased, transfer of remains, burial place or cremation niche, a marker or headstone, services of clergy or officiant, use of funeral home equipment or staff, and cremation or burial expenses.
Eligible applicants can apply for the funeral assistance program by calling FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Hotline at 1-844-684-6333 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday for begin the application process.
Before applying, potential applicants are encouraged to gather documents, including the official death certificate that attributes death to COVID-19, funeral expense documents (receipts or funeral home contract that include the name of the applicant, the name of the deceased, the amount of funeral expenses and the dates the funeral expenses were incurred) and proof of funds received from other sources specifically for funeral expenses. Funeral assistance should not duplicate benefits received from funeral or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary organizations, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.
“FEMA is committed to supporting those who have suffered loss as a result of COVID-19,” said MaryAnn Tierney, Regional Administrator for FEMA Region 3. “FEMA and our partners are working together to ensure that everyone who is eligible for funeral assistance can access and receive it.”
For more information on how to apply and FAQs, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance on FEMA.gov.