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Many Voices, One Freedom: United in the 1st Amendment

July 13, 2024

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Last year’s 2020 COVID Pandemic caused so much chaos and hardship to millions of Americans, which added another financial burden and tragedy to the masses who lost loved ones to COVID-19 and had to wait weeks or months before they were able to make funeral arrangements.

For those of you who are unaware, last December 2020, President Trump signed a $2 billion pandemic Funeral Assistance Program under FEMA, The Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Congress authorized FEMA to provide Funeral Assistance for deaths associated with the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021. The death certificate must list COVID as the cause of death.

FEMA Funeral Assistance for COVID-19 (congress.gov)

According to FEMA, they updated their specific funeral assistance information on May 25, 2021, and state that they continue to accept applications for funeral assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses. For a state-by-state, reference see here:

FEMA Updates State-Specific Funeral Assistance Information | FEMA.gov

These Applications began on April 12, 2021, and FEMA has a dedicated toll-free number to receive a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from representatives.

Their Hotline # is 844-684-6333, with hours of operation from Monday-Friday, 9 am to 9 pm, EST.

Those eligible for funeral assistance must meet the following requirements;

  • The death of their loved one must have occurred in the United States, including U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or a qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan 20, 2020.

 

Present copies of all receipts, funeral home or crematory, include applicant and deceased person’s name, amount of funeral expenses, and dates the funeral expenses transpired; however, FEMA will not duplicate benefits received from funeral or burial insurance, financial assistance received from the government or voluntary agencies, or any other sources.

The eligible candidates could receive up to $9,000 and receive a check by mail or direct deposit. Don’t delay if you lost a loved one to COVID; call the hotline for assistance.

FEMA is the “boots on the ground” when there’s a disaster. Its responsibility is to act as a liaison between the federal government and the states. Its role involves managing resources and executing strategic plans to work with all state and local officials.

FEMA was created under an executive order first signed by former President Jimmy Carter, on April 1, 1979, with the mission to “lead America to prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from disasters with a vision of A Nation Prepared.” FEMA was designed to be a governmental agency to assist in all disasters, natural and manmade, by coordinating response efforts from federal, state, and local agencies.

It’s comforting to see that FEMA acknowledges the COVID-19 pandemic as a disaster beyond the control of the norm and is stepping up to the plate of humanity to aid the families who suffered the loss of loved ones during such an obscure historical event, many of them waiting weeks and months just to provide dignified cremations and burial services for their families.

MANY VOICES, ONE FREEDOM: UNITED IN THE 1ST AMENDMENT

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