Applications for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program open Monday

Investigators

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — If you had COVID-19 funeral expenses you may qualify for FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program, which is offering applicants up to $9,000 per funeral.

“I do know families that it will benefit,” said Frank Kapr, Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association President.

Kapr says funeral directors cannot apply for the assistance, but they can help those who qualify.

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“Funeral directors can help get all of the paperwork together for the families and give them the information that they need,” Kapr said.

You may qualify to apply if you are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses of a person who died in the United States due to COVID-19. The funeral expenses must be after January 20, 2020.

FEMA also requires applicants to provide documentation.

“They will need a certified copy of the death certificate. It would state on there that COVID-19 was a contributing cause or the cause of death,” Kapr said.

Applicants must also provide receipts, funeral home contracts and proof of funds received from other sources used for funeral costs. According to FEMA, life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of Funeral Assistance benefits.

FEMA will begin accepting applications for its Funeral Assistance program on Monday, April 12th. Applicants must apply through the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line (844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585). Phone lines will be open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST.

Right now, there us no deadline to apply.

FEMA has issued a fraud alert regarding scammers who are calling people and asking them to sign up for the program in an attempt to gather personal information. FEMA will not contact anyone until they have called FEMA or have applied for assistance.

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