LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Residents of Los Angeles in need of help to pay for a funeral for a loved one who died of COVID-19 can apply for federal financial assistance starting Monday.
A maximum amount of $9,000 per funeral is being made available from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program. Applicants can apply for assistance for multiple deceased people, up to a maximum of $35,000 per application.
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To be eligible for funeral assistance, the death must have occurred in the U.S., which includes U.S. territories and the District of Columbia; the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19; and the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified non-citizen who incurred the funeral expense after Jan. 20, 2020. However, the person who died does not need to be a citizen or legal resident.
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An official death certificate and receipts of funeral expenses paid by the applicant will be required for each application. FEMA says they will not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, or other sources like local government or voluntary agencies.
“Over the past year, too many of our residents have had to depend on organizing car was fundraisers, GoFundMe online campaigns and food sales to come up with the money for burial costs,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a statement. “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.”
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FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line is (844) 6333 and (800) 462-7585 for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Pacific time. Translators will be available to assist non-English speaking callers.