Since the pandemic hit the United States last year, the government has issued several stimulus checks. First, citizens received the Economic Impact Payments. Those were worth thousands of dollars. Then, parents started receiving advance payments on their annual child tax credit. However, the largest government payment will cover funeral costs. But, few people know about it and fewer have applied.
This stimulus check will cover the funeral costs of someone who died from COVID-19. The pandemic killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. This left their families with a massive funeral bill. At the same time, many of those who passed away were breadwinners. In those cases, the families are left strapped for cash. This government program could be a blessing to those in their time of need and grief. Unfortunately, relatively few families have applied for the reimbursement, according to Value Walk.
FEMA is overseeing the program. However, the funds come from the same stimulus package as the checks that hit mailboxes and bank accounts earlier this year and in 2020. Families who lost a loved one can get up to $9,000 to cover funeral expenses.
Qualifying for the Funeral Stimulus Checks
Unlike other stimulus checks, there is no income requirement for the funeral fund. However, there are some stiff rules regarding who qualifies. First and foremost, the only people who qualify for the funeral funds are American citizens who had a loved one die from COVID-19. Additionally, those who apply have to pay for the funeral first. Then, the government will send money to reimburse them for the costs.
The funeral fund is also worth more than other stimulus checks. Those who buried one family member can apply for up to $9,000. Those who buried multiple family members can apply for up to $35,000. However, the fund will only cover the costs of the funeral up to the cutoff amount. The goal of the program is to make the burden of burying a loved one lighter.
Unfortunately, families who have already received aid to cover funeral costs can see their available amount drop. Things like burial benefits from life insurance will subtract from the funeral stimulus check amount.
Applying for COVID Funeral Funds
Those who meet all of the qualifications above can apply for the funeral stimulus checks. First, they have to call FEMA at 844-684-6333. The phone process only takes about 20 minutes. In the end, FEMA will issue an application number. Then, applicants will have to supply the documents needed to prove their claim online or by faxing or mailing them in. Those documents include all of the receipts that detail funeral costs.
Currently, there is no deadline to apply for the funeral stimulus checks. So far, FEMA has issued the funds to 226,000 people.