- Biden Administration to Launch Massive Funeral Assistance Program for Covid Victims
- The program will award checks of up to $ 9,000 to cover funeral expenses
- This is the largest funeral assistance program ever offered by the United States government.
The Biden Administration will launch a massive funeral assistance program to help the families of Covid victims. The plan will provide checks of up to $ 9,000 to cover funeral expenses for Americans who die from the coronavirus, The Washington Post reported.
The funeral assistance program is for any American family that applies and submits certain documentation. However, those who have received similar Benefits through other programs will not be able to receive the federal check.
Check for funeral expenses as part of the program
Although other federal agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) have offered funeral assistance and reimbursements before, they have never offered such substantial relief. The assistance program that includes a check for funeral expenses is the largest of its kind ever offered by the US government.
In 2017, FEMA paid about $ 2.6 million to 976 people who were victims of three devastating hurricanes. The agency awarded an average of $ 2,664 per applicant in the form of a check for funeral expenses.
More than 557,000 people have died in the US from COVID-19
More than 557,000 people in the US have died from covid-19. The pandemic has mourned thousands of families who have also had to deal with funeral expenses, expenses that are unexpected and also very high. Due to the still growing number of victims of the covid, the government decided to create this assistance program that represents unprecedented help in the country.
The program will be presented by the Biden Administration next week, so the number of people who may be eligible for funeral aid is unknown at this time.
Requests for the check will be received from April 12
FEMA indicated that it created a toll-free hotline dedicated to the funeral assistance program for COVID-19 victims. Individuals can call 1-844-684-6333 where agency staff can answer questions about the program. Also, as of next Monday, April 12, applications for the program will begin to be received.
“While we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton in a statement.
Help will benefit Latinos
Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had lobbied for similar help for a year. “Not being able to provide a decent funeral and burial for someone close and dear is outrageous,” Schumer said at the time.
Ocasio-Cortez said the pandemic that disproportionately affected Latinos and African Americans was “decimating an already vulnerable community,” adding that “the least we can do is help these families bury their loved ones. It is the fundamental and basic measure of human dignity ”.
Alert about scams linked to the program
FEMA warned on its website about possible scams linked to the assistance program. “Fraud Alert: We have received reports of scammers contacting people who offer to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA has not sent out such notifications and we do not contact individuals before they sign up for assistance, ”the agency wrote.
According to FEMA, to apply for the assistance and receive the check for funeral expenses, you must be “a United States citizen, a non-citizen citizen, or a qualified alien” who paid funeral expenses for covid-19 after January 20, 2020. Additionally, the Applicant must show a death certificate stating that the death occurred within the US and specifying that the death “may have been caused or likely the result of COVID-19”.
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