You are reading

Schumer, AOC Launch COVID-19 Funeral Fund, Hotline Gets 1 Million Calls on First Day

Sen. Chuck Schumer and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in Corona yesterday to launch funeral fund Photo: @SenSchumer

April 13, 2021 By Christina Santucci

New Yorkers who lost a loved one to COVID-19 can now apply for up to $9,000 in federal funds to help pay for funeral and burial costs.

The FEMA hotline for applications launched Monday, and U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Chuck Schumer visited Corona to highlight the program’s kickoff.

Both Congressmembers have championed the program as a way to help low-income residents, who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

“This effort began over a year ago when community leaders in NY-14 flagged the disparate impact of COVID-19 in working-class areas, compounded with the devastating economic impact of funeral expenses,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement. “I’m so relieved that soon our families will finally be able to access relief.”

The Congresswoman posted on social media Monday evening that the hotline had already received more than one million calls – in the first day of operation.

The $2 billion in funding for the Funeral Assistance program comes from federal pandemic relief bills.

Financial assistance is designated for COVID-19 related funeral expenses – dated after January 20, 2020. Those who paid for multiple burials can apply for up to $35,500 in reimbursement.

Applicants must submit a death certificate that indicates the cause of death was likely related to COVID-19 – as well as documents, such as receipts or contracts with a funeral home, showing the costs already paid.

“Now that the details are finalized and the hotline LIVE, we are working to get the word out, to make sure eligible families know to submit an application, how to prepare, and that help is available through a dedicated 800 number,” Schumer said in a statement.

Officials said that if multiple family members contributed to funeral costs, they should file a joint application – with one person registered as the applicant and others listed as co-applicants.

The deceased individual’s documentation status is not considered during the proces, but those applying for reimbursement must be U.S. citizens, legal residents, asylees, refugees or non-citizen nationals.

FEMA noted on its website that there had been some technical issues due to the high call volume on the Funeral Assistance line.

“Please try again later if you get a busy signal or your call doesn’t connect. There is no deadline to apply,” the website stated Tuesday morning.

Those interested in applying should call 844-684-6333, and the call center will be open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more information, visit FEMA’s website.

Ocasio-Cortez said constituents in her Queens and Bronx district can email or call her office at 718-662-5970 during regular business hours.

email the author: [email protected]
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Man sought in attempted rape at a Jamaica subway station that was thwarted by a good Samaritan: NYPD

Police from the 107th Precinct in Fresh Meadows are looking for a suspect who attempted to rape a 20-year-old woman inside a Jamaica Hills subway station early Saturday morning before a good Samaritan came to her rescue.

The victim was exiting a Queens-bound F train at the 169th Street station on Hillside Avenue just after midnight when a stranger began to follow her. Once inside the mezzanine level, the assailant punched her in the face multiple times while she tried to cover her face.

Former Queens cop indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, swindling investors out of millions: Feds

A former city cop from Bellerose was arrested by federal agents on Wednesday and indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud for allegedly swindling investors out of nearly $5 million they put into the foreign exchange-focused investment fund he founded in 2020.

Jason Rodriguez, 37, was named in an indictment unsealed in Brooklyn federal court for allegedly promising investors in his forex-focused fund that there would be a “loss reserve account” that could be used to repay investors if the company lost money trading. Rodriguez, the Chief Operating Officer of Technical Trading Team, LLC, also promised investors that he would never risk more than 1% of assets under management on any single trade and would not hold positions open overnight, according to the indictment.

Southeast Queens man killed in collision with tractor trailer on Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica: NYPD

A Southeast Queens man was killed when he crashed into a tractor trailer in Jamaica on Monday morning.

Ray Holman, 67, of 220th Street in Brookville, was behind the wheel of a maroon 2015 Infiniti QX8 SUV traveling southbound on the Van Wyck Expressway when he struck a 2016 International 18-wheeler that was also traveling southbound, police said. The incident took place near the Linden Boulevard exit shortly after 10:35 a.m.