What you need to know about the FEMA COVID-19 reimbursement

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What You Should Do About FEMA’s COVID-19 Reimbursement *Updated March 25, 2021
Families whose loved ones died of COVID-19 recently received a funeral refund from the federal government. This is what we know so far.
The service is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), which is scheduled to begin receiving applications later this month. This policy was established as part of the COVID-19 relief bill, which was enacted in December, and it covers expenditures incurred between January 20 and December 31, 2020. Expenses for deaths in 2021 will not be reimbursed. The precise value of the refund is yet to be determined by FEMA.
The below are the conditions that have been announced so far:
• The death must have occurred in the United States, including US territories and the District of Columbia; the death certificate must specify that the death was caused by COVID-19; and the individual filing for the benefit must be a US resident, noncitizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020. It is not necessary for the deceased person to have been a US resident, a noncitizen national, or an eligible alien.
FEMA will contribute up to $9,000 in funeral expenses. It is uncertain if both households will earn the same payment or whether the payment will be decreased due to wealth or other considerations. Many that apply can receive reimbursements via paper check or direct deposit.
To control the submission process, FEMA can set up a toll-free phone number. While this phone number is not yet operational, FEMA recommends that families begin gathering details of their funeral costs and obtaining a copy of the death certificate. The death certificate must specify that COVID-19 was the cause of death, either directly or indirectly.
We will assist you with obtaining an additional copy of your loved one’s death certificate if you used our funeral home for services. You may also order one from the vital records office directly. We are unable to alter the fact that COVID-19 was the actual or indirect cause of death on your loved one’s death certificate. If you think the death certificate for your loved one was prepared incorrectly, you should call the doctor who signed it.
You’ll still require evidence of the funeral bill, and how it was paid. The deceased person’s name, the number and date(s) of funeral costs paid, and the name of the person filing for the benefit stating that they were the liable party for the expenses must all be included in the documentation. If more than one person added to funeral costs, they must both file with FEMA as applicants and co-applicants under one application (s). Otherwise, only the first claimant would be eligible for assistance.
FEMA would not refund you whether any or more of the death costs were covered by burial or funeral benefits, government departments, donations, or other means. Any uncovered costs would be eligible for the FEMA Funeral Assistance scheme even though you received burial or funeral insurance proceeds and/or any other forms of assistance from other sources. Please keep in mind that if a life insurance scheme was used to cover for funeral costs, FEMA would refund you for that number.

If you want an extra copy of your invoice, please contact us. Before you apply, we recommend collecting reports of any cemetery expenditures. You can get these from the graveyard or memorial dealer who helped your dad.

Funeral costs that are eligible include, but are not limited to:

• Transportation for up to two people to identify the person who has died

• Stays transfer

• Urn or casket

• Grave plot or niche for cremation

• A headstone or a marker

• Clergy or officiant services

• Planning the funeral service

• Employing funeral home appliances or personnel

• Costs of cremation or burial

• The costs of producing and certifying a large number of death certificates

• Any extra charges mandated by city or state government legislation or ordinances.

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Thank you Jim Geils

To all the families that have supported my father, Jim, throughout his 45 years as a funeral director, I hope you will continue to let me serve you moving forward.

Filling my father’s shoes, will not be an easy task and something I will forever strive for; however, he has given me the knowledge, guidance, experience and lasting relationships within the funeral industry that will hopefully make this transition possible.

He was my confidant, superior but mostly my biggest fan. I know he will be with me always, leading and guiding me to be the best funeral director I can be.

I will continue my father’s legacy as best and for as long as I can, with your love, help and support.

Monica Geils Conroy
Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer