• The San Juan Daily Star

FEMA assistance for COVID-19 funeral expenses still available


By John McPhaul

jpmcphaul@gmail.com


Idamis de Jesús, who heads the Individual Assistance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Caribbean Office in Puerto Rico, on Wednesday called on people who have paid for funeral expenses due to COVID-19 to request assistance.


“The Government of Puerto Rico reports more than 3,246 deaths due to the coronavirus, and that is why we are encouraging all the people who covered funeral expenses who have not yet requested our assistance, to call today,” de Jesús said in a written statement. “So far, we have approved more than $2.8 million to help with these expenses. Please share this information, if you or someone you know had funeral expenses related to COVID-19.”


The official noted that 1,528 requests had been registered as of early Wednesday.


“FEMA is providing financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, pursuant to the Coronavirus Relief and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” she said.


Assistance can be applied for by calling 844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585). FEMA only accepts applications through phone calls. The phone line is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday.


Following the call, FEMA will send the applicant a Request for Information (RFI) that summarizes the documentation needed to process the application for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance. For more information, applicants can also visit the Frequently Asked Questions section on FEMA’s website: FEMA.gov/funeral-assistance/faq.