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FEMA to help pay funeral costs for COVID-19-related deaths

BOISE - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has recently announced that they will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus (COVID-19) to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic.

The policy was finalized March 24 and FEMA is moving forward to implement this funeral assistance program nationwide. These services will soon be available to Idaho citizens.

"We are grateful for the steps FEMA is taking to assist the citizens of our state," Governor Brad Little said. "While many are grieving across the state, it is comforting to know there are resources available to ease the financial and emotional burdens of those who lost a loved one to COVID-19."

To be eligible for COVID-19 funeral assistance, the applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death attributed to COVID-19. The assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral. More information about eligibility, applications, and other applicable policies can be found at https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.

"Many Idahoans have been deeply impacted by the loss of life due to COVID-19," said IOEM (Idaho Office of Emergency Management) Director Brad Richy. "I am glad to see programs like Funeral Assistance now available to citizens, knowing how impactful this program can be in assisting Idaho families during this difficult time."

In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to assist interested applicants. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering the following documentation: an official death certificate, funeral expense documents, and/or proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Those who have any questions, the FEMA Office of External Affairs is standing by to assist them at www.fema.gov.

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