By Bradly Gill
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, through money provided by the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, is now offering funeral assistance for COVID-19 related deaths.
FEMA’s website states, “The COVID-19 pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many families. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters. We are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the virus.
Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.”
Ouachita County Judge Robert McAdoo stated, “What has to happen is the folks have to call in. I just want to make sure that our folks here in Ouachita County have a good shot at getting the assistance and it will pay up to $9,000 but there’s certain documents that you have to have.”
The application period for funeral assistance began on April 12, and there is currently no deadline to apply, according to a press release from FEMA.
Those seeking assistance can call 844-684-6333 or 800-462-7585 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to apply. FEMA says the application process should only take about 20 minutes, and no online applications will be accepted.
The agency recommends gathering all the documentation necessary to qualify for assistance before calling.
The following information is needed to apply:
• Social Security number for the applicant and the deceased individual
• Date of birth for the applicant and the deceased individual
• Current mailing address for the applicant
• Current telephone number for the applicant
• Location or address where the deceased individual passed away
• Information about burial or funeral insurance policies
• Information about other funeral assistance received, such as donations
• CARES Act grants and assistance from voluntary organizations
• Routing and account number of the applicant’s checking or savings account (for direct deposit, if requested)
After the application call, a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred and proof of assistance received from any other source must be provided.