State Rep. Dagmara “Dee” Avelar, D-Bolingbrook, is highlighting financial assistance for funeral expenses available for local residents who have lost a loved one to COVID-19.
“The COVID-19 pandemic changed the lives of every Illinoisan, but it was especially difficult for the families who lost loved ones. Not only did these families have to face the loss of a spouse, relative, friend, or neighbor, but they also had to incur the expense of a funeral during a widespread economic crisis,” Avelar said. “While we can never replace the loved ones lost, we can provide these families with one measure of financial relief for funeral expenses.”
Under the American Rescue Plan, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is offering financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses. Local residents may be eligible if they have a death certificate indicating that a deceased friend or loved one died from COVID-19 and have documents for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for the deceased individual. There is no requirement that the deceased person must have been a U.S. citizen. To apply, residents can contact FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line at 844-684-6333 toll-free on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. The hotline features multilingual services. While all applications must be started by calling FEMA’s hotline, answers to frequently asked questions are available in multilingual format at fema.gov.
“We owe it to local families to ensure that they have the support necessary to recover and rebuild from the pandemic and to honor the lives lost due to COVID-19,” Avelar said. “The funeral financial assistance program from the American Rescue Plan is one way we can give relief to families and I urge those who have lost a loved one to apply for this assistance.”