BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has started financially assisting families who are planning funerals for COVID-19 related deaths.
The agency launched the hotline on Monday, as part of President Biden's $1.9 trillion relief package.
FEMA's Funeral Assistance Program will reimburse households for COVID-19 related deaths that took place between Jan. 20, 2020 to Dec. 2020.
According to the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, William Galvin, the assistance is limited to a maximum of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per application.
The website and hotline have been flooded with applicants. FEMA said on the first day of operation, they received "thousands of calls."
"We ask that applicants be patient as we work to correct these issues and have all their important documents ready when they call to apply," FEMA said. "Please know there is no deadline to apply and applicants will have the ability to open a case."
The hotline phone number is 844-684-6333. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents, however it is not required that the deceased person meet that criteria.
WBZ NewsRadio's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports: