NORWOOD — General Manager Tony Mazzucco and Health Director Sigalle Reiss would like to provide information for residents on FEMA’s new Funeral Assistance Program, which is now accepting applications.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020. The program provides a maximum of $9,000 per funeral to eligible individuals who incurred funeral expenses due to COVID-19.
Eligibility requirements include the following:
- The death must have occurred in the U.S., U.S. territories or 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 qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020. There is no requirement for the deceased individual to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
Those who incur funeral expenses related to COVID-19 are recommended to gather and keep information such as:
- An official death certificatethat attributes the death directly or indirectly to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the U.S., U.S. territories or the District of Columbia.
- Click here for information regarding obtaining or amending a Massachusetts Death Certificate.
- Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that includes the applicant’s name, the deceased person’s name, the amount of funeral expenses, and the dates the funeral expenses happened.
- Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs.
Applications began to be accepted on Monday, April 12. To apply, call the dedicated COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 and FEMA representatives will help you complete an application. The line operates from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Monday – Friday. No online applications will be accepted.
The public is also reminded to be cautious of possible scams. FEMA has received reports of scammers contacting people and offering to register them for funeral assistance. FEMA does not contact people before they register for assistance.
Mental and emotional health resources are available for those grieving loss due to the pandemic:
- Call or text the Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 for immediate help and support.
- The American Red Cross is operating a Virtual Family Assistance Center to provide comfort, support, information and resource referrals for families that have lost loved ones to COVID-19. All support will be provided virtually and is completely confidential. Call 833-492-0094 or visit the Virtual Family Assistance Center website.
- Additional resources are outlined by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health here.