FEMA’s COVID Funeral Assistance Program now open to eligible families

National

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.

RELATED: President of CT Funeral Directors Association discusses COVID-19 funeral assistance

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
https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance/faq.

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