Conn. (WTNH) — Starting Monday, April 12, residents will be able to apply for FEMA’s Funeral Assistance Program. It helps families cover burial and funeral expenses for COVID-related deaths up to $9,000.
To be eligible, the death must have occurred after Jan. 20, 2020, and it must be a COVID-related death with the cause shown on the death certificate. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a 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.
The Iovanne Funeral Home has helped more than 50 families who lost someone to COVID-19. We spoke with the funeral home’s president, Bill Iovanne about the program. He said it’s been a very tough year.
“I know the families appreciate it,” he said. “As a funeral director and business owner, I appreciate the government doing something like this because these were truly unexpected and untimely deaths. It was daily for a lot of funeral homes and a lot of funeral directors and it’s personal because we all know our families. We all have a relationship with our families and it became very personal for us.”
Iovanne tells us the first day of the FEMA hotline, there were over one million phone calls.
If you’re interested in applying for assistance, the process will start over the phone at 1-844-684-6333 Monday-Friday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. EST. You’ll need a copy of the funeral bill and death certificate.
For information on FEMA’s new reimbursement program, go to https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance and