Financial relief could be on the way for the families of the nearly 50,000 Texans who died from COVID-19.
FEMA is now accepting applications for COVID-19 funeral expenses.
FEMA is only taking applications over the phone. Those interested in applying must call 844-684-6333. The line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET.
The program looks to cover up to $9,000 for the feneral of a single individual and up to $35,500 per application per state, territory, or the District of Columbia.
Those interested in applying, must meet the following criteria:
- The death must have occurred in the United States. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.
- The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
- There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.
Some of the expenses that could be eligible for reimbursement include:
- Transportation for up to two individuals to identify the deceased individual
- 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
- Cremation or interment costs
- Costs associated with producing and certifying multiple death certificates
- Additional expenses mandated by any applicable local or state government laws or ordinances
For the complete list of documents needed, click here.
There is no deadline to apply.
Rodney Molitor with Dignity Memorial Funeral Homes and Cemeteries urges people to be patient.
"We know that the phone lines are extremely busy, we know many people are calling for this information," he noted.
He also reminds those looking to apply, they'll have to reach out to FEMA first.
"There will be scams out there. We want to make sure that evyerone knows that FEMA is not going to be contacting anyone unsolicited," Molitor explained.
He advises anyone not to give personal information over the phone if they are unsure if the caller is a legtimate FEMA representative. Instead, he says call the official FEMA assistance line at 844-684-6333 to be sure.
For more information, click here.