coronavirus pandemic

Local Families Impacted by COVID Deaths Getting FEMA Help for Funeral Costs

The group will cover the cost of caskets, urns, burial plots, markers, headstones and arrangements of the funeral ceremony

NBC Universal, Inc.

People who need aid covering the cost for family members who died of COVID-19 may be eligible for up to $9,000 in assistance from FEMA thanks to a new program that could allow families to get reimbursed.

This announcement was welcome news for North Miami Beach resident Carr Alexis and his family. He lost his 82-year-old father Gasby Alexis to Covid-19 last July.

“It took a lot of hustling, a lot of last minute things to get things in order. Just to get things together," Alexis told NBC 6.

Along with the sudden goodbye and overwhelming grief, came unexpected funeral cost for millions of Americans. It was a financial burden that families likes the Alexis were faced with.

FEMA says they will cover the cost of caskets, urns, burial plots, markers, headstones and arrangements of the funeral ceremony.

Evans St. Fort is the CEO of St Fort’s Funeral Home and Cremation in North Miami Beach. He said he dealt with the constant flow of victims, these last 12 months. 

“I was working day, night, Weekend, Sundays my phone would never stop.  I was getting calls at all times," he said.

St. Fort knows first hand how difficult this time has been for so many local families, saying these funds from FEMA will help these family, especially those that were left devastated.

FEMA is working to set up a hotline to help families through this process. For additional information on what documents you need, click on this link.

FEMA has said that a death must meet at least these criteria to qualify for aid:

  • The death certificate must indicate the death was caused by COVID-19
  • The death happened in the United States, including the District of Columbia and U.S. territories
  • The person applying for funeral assistance must be either a U.S. citizen, a non-citizen national or a qualified alien who incurred the funeral expenses after January 20, 2020
  • Notably, there is no requirement that the deceased person was a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien
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