Rep. Barbara Lee announces COVID funeral expense reimbursement fund

Bay Area

(BCN) – Families that have lost a loved one due to the coronavirus can now receive up to $7,000 in funeral expenses reimbursed, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, said Wednesday.

Some $2 billion in funding will be made available to families through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, according to Lee. The program is modeled after funeral assistance funding the government provided following Hurricane Katrina. 

Funds will be retroactive through the start of the pandemic, according to Lee, from Jan. 20, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020. The funding was made available as part of the federal COVID-19 relief bill passed in December.

“No one should struggle to afford a proper funeral for a loved one,” Lee said in a statement. “During this time of unprecedented pain and economic hardship, it’s a moral imperative that the federal government step in and provide relief.”

Residents interested in applying for funeral reimbursement funding will require documents like expense documentation and a death certificate, according to Lee. 

While FEMA is still determining the details of who will be eligible for reimbursement funding, applications are expected to open later this year.

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