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The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering COVID-19 funeral assistance aimed at reimbursing some costs accrued by those who have lost loved ones from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

FEMA is providing assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, through both Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act which were passed into law in 2021.

According to the Tennessee Health Department, as of May 10, 2021, 217 people have died of COVID-19 in Williamson County, with more than 12,000 deaths statewide.

According to FEMA, the death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories or the District of Columbia, and the death certificate must attribute the death to COVID-19.

The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, but there is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.

Anyone who qualifies for the assistance can apply by calling the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line Number at 844-684-6333 or 800-462-7585 from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Friday.

FEMA is not offering online applications, but the phone line is offered in several languages and should take around 20 minutes to complete on the phone.

The application process with FEMA should take about 20 minutes and multi-lingual services are available. FEMA is not accepting online applications for the benefit, so a call to FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance phone number is necessary to register and begin the process.

Prospective applicants should also be sure to keep good documentation such as death certificates, funeral expense documentation and documentation related to any other COVID-19 assistance that someone may have received.

FEMA will distribute funds to eligible applicants in the form of mailed checks or by direct deposit, and applicants can apply for multiple deceased individuals with a maximum allowable amount of $9,000 per funeral, and a maximum of $35,500 per application.

More information about the Funeral Assistance program can be found here.

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