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: news@queenspost.com
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

Port Authority announces JFK Airport traffic congestion plan as new terminal construction ramps up this summer

With construction ramping up over the summer on the $19 billion JFK Airport redevelopment project, the Port Authority opened a free drop-off, pickup and waiting lot at the AirTrain station at Lefferts Boulevard to help passengers avoid heavy traffic congestion at the terminal frontages.

The new lot will allow travelers to easily hop on to the free on-airport AirTrain with frequent service for an easy, eight-minute ride to the terminals, saving them time and anxiety from potential construction-related congestion.

Urgent manhunt underway for ‘animal’ who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in Flushing park on Thursday: NYPD

The NYPD announced a $10,000 reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest of a Hispanic man who allegedly raped a 13-year-old girl in a wooded area of Kissena Corridor Park on Thursday afternoon.

More than sixty investigators were at the crime scene late into the night. During a press briefing by NYPD brass on Friday, Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey said that the manhunt was expanded city-wide and that the department would spare no expense until the suspect was apprehended.

Attorney General releases body-cam footage in probe of MTA police shooting in Jamaica

New York Attorney General Letitia James on Thursday released police body-worn camera footage that her office obtained as part of the ongoing investigation into the shooting death of 52-year-old Bashe McDaniel, who died on Dec. 29, 2023, following an encounter with members of the Metropolitan Transit Authority, (MTA) Police in Jamaica. The probe by her Office of Special Investigation is mandated under state law.

On the night of Dec. 29, two MTA officers were searching for an individual on Sutphin Boulevard following a report of an alleged sexual assault at the Jamaica LIRR/AirTrain station a block away. The officers spotted McDaniel, who appeared to be wearing the same clothing that was described in the report. As the officers were attempting to handcuff McDaniel, they could be heard ordering him to give them his hands. When he failed to comply, one of the officers used a Taser several times. As McDaniel shrieked and continued to struggle, he allegedly fired a semi-automatic firearm, according to the AG’s office. The two officers discharged their service weapons multiple times in response, striking McDaniel once in the head.