Schumer, AOC announce federal funding for COVID-19 burials
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | FEB. 12-FEB. 18, 2021 9
BY BILL PARRY
Senator Charles Schumer and
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-
Cortez came to Corona Plaza Monday
to formally announce funeral benefits
for low-income New Yorkers whose
family members have died from
The Federal Emergency Management
Administration (FEMA) will
help pay for the funeral and burial
of COVID-hit families that cannot afford
it via a $2 billion national pot of
disaster funds, including $260 million
specifically for New Yorkers.
“Families across New York are already
paying the ultimate price with
the tragic loss of their loved ones to
coronavirus,” Schumer said. “For
families, the unspeakable loss of a
loved one is being exacerbated by the
substantial costs of funerals and burials
that many cannot afford right now.
This historic use of FEMA’s funeral assistance
program helps ensure those
grappling with this crisis are not also
saddled with the financial burden of
exorbitant funeral costs, and that is
what Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and I worked
to deliver here, and we got it done. The
work now centers on making sure eligible
families know this is happening
and know how to access the funds.
That’s why our next job is to get the
The two explained that families
across New York, particularly those in
communities of color and low-income
neighborhoods like Corona, which
was the epicenter of the COVID-19
emergency last spring, would be have
already paid the ultimate price amid
the pandemic and the FEMA funds
will help alleviate some of the pain in
being unable to afford or give a proper
burial and funeral to a loved one.
“Millions of people across the
country and thousands of New Yorkers
have lost loved ones due to the pandemic
and adding significantly to the
emotional and financial burdens they
were already dealing with,” Ocasio-
Cortez said. “In the complete lack of
adequate federal support, the least
we could push for was for financial
assistance to families burying their
loved ones during this pandemic. After
fighting for relief all year, New
Yorkers can now give their loved ones
the proper burial without going into
Schumer and Ocasio-Cortez explained
their offices stand at the ready
to help families navigate the process
and secure the new benefit. Eligibility
for the funds is retroactive through
the beginning of the pandemic, Jan.
20, 2020, to Dec. 31, 2020, and Schumer
said they are working to keep the program
in place for the rest of the pandemic.
Schumer also explained that if
a family thinks they are eligible, they
should prepare documentation to verify
the caller’s identity, their relation
to the deceased and a death certificate
that relates the death to COVID-19.
Schumer added that FEMA is
standing up a call center, which New
Yorkers will be able to access through
a 1-800 number, where caseworkers
will help individuals who believe they
are eligible to register in FEMAs system.
Registered individuals will be
provided access to an online portal to
submit documents, and there will be a
fax and mail option available as well.
Schumer and Ocasio-Cortez were
joined at Corona Plaza by the Hispanic
Federation Voces Latina, and Elmcor
Senior center as they pushed to get the
word out on the FEMA funds.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail
at firstname.lastname@example.org or by
phone at (718) 260–4538.
Senator Charles Schumer and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez announce
federal COVID-19 burial funds during a press event at Corona Plaza.
Courtesy of Schumer’s offi ce
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