Andretti navigates personal loss, loneliness of pandemic

Pall bearers, including Mario Andretti, center, walk the casket out for Mario’s twin brother, Aldo Andretti in Brownsburg, Ind. on Jan. 13. COVID-19 claimed his twin brother, Aldo. A new federal program is assisting in funeral costs for victims of COVID-19.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide financial assistance of up to $9,000 per funeral and up to $35,000 per family for those that held funerals in the last year due to COVID-19.

These expenses will help cover funerals from COVID deaths held after Jan. 20, 2020.

Local funeral homes should not be contacted regarding the application process.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people,” acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton said in a news release. “Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate.”

FEMA’s assistance comes from the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act and the American Rescue Plan Act that passed earlier this year.

FEMA is handling all applications for funeral assistance which opened April 12 and has no time limit yet on closing the applications. To start the application process call FEMA at 844-684-6333 or by TTY: 800-462-7585.


One family member per death can apply. If multiple family members contributed to the funeral expenses, submit only one application with an applicant and co-applicant, according to FEMA.

Family members must gather documents for the application process including an official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID, funeral expenses and proof of funds received from other sources.

The up to $35,000 per application limit was put in place to help families with multiple deaths from COVID.

Johnson-Taylor Funeral and Cremation said they had almost twice the amount of funerals last year and they had around 200 or more COVID funerals over the past year.

However, they believe this number of COVID-19 deaths could be a lot higher since some death certificates did not have COVID on them and some people died without ever being tested.

More information on the FEMA funeral assistance can be found at www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.

3
1
0
0
1

Load comments