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The federal government will pay for coronavirus-related funeral expenses

Congress appropriated $2 billion to cover certain coronavirus-related funeral expenses incurred from Jan. 20 through Dec. 31, 2020.

AUSTIN, Texas — Editor's note: The above video was published in July 2020.

Under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021, Congress has devoted $2 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to pay for certain coronavirus-related funeral expenses.

The money reimburses individuals or households for costs for expenses incurred from Jan. 20 to Dec. 31, 2020. It does not include funeral costs for 2021.

"FEMA is working quickly to finalize an implementation plan and interim policy to support the delivery of funeral assistance to eligible citizens," a FEMA spokesperson said.

According to the Congressional Research Service, reimbursements may include caskets, remains transfer, funeral services and burial plots. The report shows flowers, obituaries, catering and transporting people to and from funeral services are typically not eligible for reimbursement.

"To help administer the assistance, FEMA is hiring contract support through the federal acquisitions process," the spokesperson said.

In a press conference on Feb. 8, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-New York) said the money is aimed to help low-income families. Schumer said qualifications will include documentation to verify identity and relation to the deceased, a death certificate and documented expenses.

Applications are not being accepted yet. FEMA hasn't said when the application process will begin, but it "will make an announcement later this year."

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