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Financial Aid for COVID-19 Related Funeral Expenses

October 25, 2021

From the Office for Social Ministry

Losing a loved one from the deadly impacts of the COVID-19 virus is very challenging, especially for those suffering from financial hardships. That why Congress passed the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Act of 2021, which includes up to $9,000 in financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is currently offering monies through the FUNERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM and has been accepting applications since April 12, 2021.

Applicants are required to be a U.S. Citizen, a non-citizen national or qualified alien; however, the decedent does not. A death certificate must show evidence of COVID-19 as the cause of death and that it occurred in the United States, in one of the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia. Applications may only be submitted if the person died on or after January 20, 2020.

Although a maximum of $9,000 per deceased individual can be awarded, applicants requesting help for multiple individuals may receive up to $35,500 total.

For more information and to inquire whether you might qualify for assistance, call (844) 684-6333 or visit the FEMA FAQ page that explains the FUNERAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM. Helping connect persons to this possible assistance can respond to some of basic needs of suffering families as part of a parish bereavement ministry. As of August 2021, 144 Hawaii applicants successfully qualified and submitted the necessary documentation resulting in awards totaling $854,056.