covid image webI am writing this article to share with others who have lost a loved one to COVID. This is information that I personally have used and I want to help others to secure finances if needed.

Last spring, my husband and I were tested for the COVID and were told that I needed to go to the hospital for more tests. My son admitted me to Lehigh Valley Hospital, and there were some other complications but I was released after five days. My husband didn’t feel well and he was admitted to the hospital for the same thing.

Ten days later, my husband expired and I was not able to visit him. This was a heartbreak to me since we were married for 55 years and were together all the time. Funeral plans needed to be made and it was quite hectic.

My cousin did tell me that a friend of hers mentioned that FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) had an assistance program to help families with funeral expenses. Since I was aware of this, I asked the funeral director if he had a form for me, and he submitted it to me. I proceeded to complete it since funeral expenses were over $10,000.00. A telephone call got the process going, and since my husband didn’t have adequate life insurance, this was very helpful. The check was sent directly, but did take some time and following up. I have listed what is necessary to file for the insurance.

FEMA will pay up to $9,000.00 for funeral expenses if the person has passed away from COVID. The form is long, but when you answer all the questions and speak with them, they are very helpful.

Call this number: 844-684-6333 / TTY800-462-7585. This is the FEMA Pre-Call checklist that you will need to fill out. There are multiple questions to answer. Go through this list carefully and provide what they request. You will need the death certificate that gives proof of cause of death. FEMA hours of operation are Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM, Eastern Time. After you call them and receive the check list, the FEMA hot line number is 844-684-6333 to get started. You will probably experience that there is a high volume of calls. Don't give up — keep calling! If you have an account at disasterassistance.gov, you may upload documents to your account. Otherwise, write or fax documentations to FEMA, P.O. Box 10001, Hyattsville, MD 20782. You can also fax documents to 855-261-3452, Attn: FEMA at the top.

I sincerely hope that this is helpful to someone. Please, let me know if it has assisted you and if you need help. Contact me, Elissa, at 610-573-0386.

FEMA Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions
Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance? You may qualify if:
• You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses on or after Jan. 20, 2020, and
• the funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the U.S., U.S. territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by, or was likely the result of, COVID-19.

Can I apply for more than one death? Is there a limit?
If you incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses for more than one individual, you may receive a maximum of $9,000 per deceased individual and a maximum of $35,500 per application, if you incurred funeral expenses for multiple deceased individuals per state, territory, or D.C. Funeral homes are not eligible to apply on your behalf or be a co-applicant. The person applying must be an individual who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses.

Eligible expenses typically include, but are not limited to:
• funeral services
• cremation
• interment
• transportation for up to 2 individuals to identify the deceased
• transfer of remains
• Casket or urn
• burial plot or cremation niche
• marker or headstone
• clergy or officiant services
• arrangement of the funeral ceremony
• use of funeral home equipment or staff
• producing and certifying multiple death certificates
• additional expenses mandated by applicable local or state government laws or ordinances

You are encouraged to provide documentation verifying the death was attributed to COVID-19, along with proof of funeral expenses and proof of other funeral assistance received, as soon as possible.

Photo credit: Martin Sanchez - https://www.instagram.com/martysanchezz/

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