Did you lose a loved one to COVID-19 during the coronavirus pandemic? FEMA is assisting those with no burial insurance through this process. (Shutterstock)NEWPORT BEACH, CA — Beginning Monday, people across the country can apply for financial help for funeral expenses from coronavirus deaths through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Program, according to officials.In Orange County, thus far, 4,839 residents have lost their lives to coronavirus and in California over 60,400 have died as a result of COVID-19 over the past year. The deadliest day of the pandemic thus far was January 3 when 66 Orange County residents died as a result of COVID-19. Behind each statistic is a life lost, and a family that is still grieving. FEMA is ensuring they will not have to foot the bill of a burial. “We can never take away the pain and suffering of those grieving the loss of a loved one from COVID-19, but in so many communities already struggling to pay for basic necessities, like food and rent, funeral costs only compounds that grief,” said Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis.”Over the past year, too many of our residents have had to depend on organizing car wash fundraisers, GoFundMe online campaigns, and food sales to come up with the money for burial costs. With thousands in our county grieving from the loss of a loved one due to COVID-19, we have a responsibility to help provide for a proper burial—allowing dignity for those who have passed and closure for their families. The FEMA Funeral Assistance Program will provide much-needed relief for residents, according to Solis.FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line is 844-684-6333 and 800-462- 7585 (TTY) for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Members of the public can call Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Translators will be available to assist callers who do not speak English.To be eligible for funeral assistance, recipients must meet three conditions established by FEMA: The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia;The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19;The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified non-citizen who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020. There are no residential or legal status requirements pertaining to the deceased person.Only one application per deceased person is allowed. Applicants may apply for multiple deceased individuals. However, if multiple persons helped pay for funeral expenses for one person who died as a result of coronavirus, only one application should be submitted for assistance. There, list the name of applicant and co-applicants. FEMA’s financial assistance is limited to a maximum amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application. If burial or funeral insurance was used for internment, FEMA will not duplicate benefits received or financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, government agencies, or other sources. For more information, go to www.FEMA.gov.Get more local news delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for free Patch newsletters and alerts.ThankReply Share
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