Assistance with funeral expenses will soon be available to families who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.

FEMA announced the program this week, and the agency is encouraging families to keep and gather documentation. FEMA will begin to implement the funeral assistance in April, and it is intended for the expenses of funeral services and interment or cremation.

Corinth Mayor Tommy Irwin is encouraging local residents who have been affected to seek this assistance.

“This could provide some needed financial relief to some of our local people who have suffered a tragic loss due to COVID-19,” he said.

Eligibility is for family of those whose death occurred in the U.S. with the death attributed to COVID-19 on the death certificate. The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020.

However, it is not required that the deceased person was a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national or qualified alien.

If multiple individuals contributed toward the funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co-applicant. An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.

The assistance is capped at $9,000 per funeral and $35,500 per application.

Applicants will need documentation such as the official death certificate, funeral expense documents and proof of funds received from other sources. FEMA will not duplicate benefits received from insurance or other agencies.

The death certificate must indicate that the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19, or similar phrasing indicating a high likelihood.

Applications will be made by phone only, and an 800 number will soon be announced.

The Mississippi State Department of Health has documented 63 COVID-19 cases in Alcorn County.

Staff Writer

Jebb Johnston is a 1991 Alcorn Central High School graduate and a 1995 Ole Miss journalism graduate. His primary beats are city and county government.

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