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Are You Eligible for a Free Headstone for a COVID-19 Victim?

If you lost a loved one due to COVID-19 but were unable to purchase a headstone, now may be the right time to do so.  Beginning April 12, 2021, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is offering up to $9000 per victim in federal aid for burial related expenses, including headstones.  Individuals can use these funds to purchase a headstone now or apply for reimbursement for expenses already paid out of pocket.  A summary overview is provided below or visit FEMA's website ( https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance ) for complete details.

 

                      COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number 844-684-6333 | TTY: 800-462-7585

                                       8:00am – 8:00pm Central Time, Monday - Friday

Beginning Monday, April 12, 2021, you will be able to call the dedicated toll-free phone number listed above to complete an application with help from a FEMA representative.
   •No online applications will be accepted.
   •Multilingual services will be available.

Requirements:
•Funeral expenses must be incurred by the applicant after January 20, 2020.
•The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
•Assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per victim.
•The death must have occurred in the United States, U.S. territories or the District ofColumbia.
•COVID-19 Funeral Assistance is not available for the funeral expenses of U.S. citizens whodied outside the United States.
•Any funds received by the applicant for Lost Wages Supplemental Payment Assistance (upto $1,800) will be deducted from the $9000 maximum.

Once an applicant has applied for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and is provided an application number, they may be asked to provide supporting documentation to FEMA via fax or mail. They can also upload any required documents to their DisasterAssistance.gov account.
 

Covered Expenses:
•Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual.
•Expenses related to transfer of remains.
•Casket/Urn
•Burial Plot/Cremation Niche
•Marker/Headstone
•Clergy or Officiant Services
•Arrangement of the funeral ceremony.
•Use of funeral home equipment or staff.
•Cremation/Interment Costs
•Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates.
•Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws orordinances.
Visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance for more information.

Questions and Answers:
What information do I need to provide when I register?
The applicant responsible for COVID-19 funeral expenses will need to provide the following information below when they call FEMA to register for assistance. We recommend gathering this information before beginning the application process.
•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 directdeposit, if requested).

What documentation do I need?
You must provide a copy of the death certificate, proof of funeral expenses incurred, and proof of assistance received from any other source.
•The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by, “may have been causedby” or “was likely a result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrasesthat indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
•Documentation for expenses (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) must include theapplicant’s name as the person responsible for the expense, the deceased individual’sname, the amount of funeral expenses, and that the funeral expenses were incurredafter January 20, 2020.
•The applicant must also provide FEMA with proof of funds received from other sourcesspecifically used for funeral costs. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance may not duplicatebenefits received from burial or funeral insurance or financial assistance received fromvoluntary agencies, government programs or agencies, or other sources. COVID-19Funeral Assistance will be reduced by the amount of other assistance the applicantreceived for the same expenses.
•Life insurance proceeds are not considered a duplication of Funeral Assistancebenefits.

Visit https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance for more information.

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