By DIANE S. WILLIAMS
New York State will get about $260 million in aid from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, FEMA, to cover the funeral expenses of COVID victims, said Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in a joint press conference in February.
“If you are a family who couldn’t afford or had to just stretch, went without rent or went without food or anything else so you might give your loved one a decent funeral and burial, you can get reimbursed for up to $7,000 from FEMA,” Schumer said.
FEMA may reimburse families in need up to $7,000 for COVID-related funeral costs incurred between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31 2020, as part of the December 2020 COVID relief bill. Funerals held in 2021 are not covered.
This federal aid is similar to relief FEMA provided to victims of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and other disasters.
Until FEMA finalizes the funeral aid program and releases a hotline, the lawmakers urge families to start gathering official death certificates and receipts for body storage, funeral and burial costs and other related documentation that FEMA will require applicants to submit.