Lawmakers in Massachusetts have proposed a $5 million fund to help families, who lost a loved one to COVID-19, pay for burial services.
Backed by almost a dozen lawmakers, a bipartisan proposal by Massachusetts lawmakers would provide up to $1,500 for families struggling to pay for a burial of a loved one who died of COVID-19.
The fund prioritizes families of ‘essential workers’ who had to continue working amidst the outbreak and died because of the virus. State Senator Diana DiZoglio said: “During this unprecedented time, the last thing folks should be worrying about is how they will cover funeral and burial expenses in the tragic event that a family member dies from COVID-19.”
Federal disaster fund for funeral expenses not yet released by Trump Administration
Approximately 30 US states and territories have already requested funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help pandemic victims.
In the past FEMA has helped disaster victims pay for burial services. A report from the Government Accountability Office shows that FEMA paid about a total of $2,6 million, to help just under a thousand applicants with funeral costs for victims of three hurricanes in 2017.
So far the Trump administration has not yet released the go-ahead for the funding of funeral remuneration. Former FEMA presidential appointee Mark Neveau who worked on the federal response during Hurricane Sandy said: “There is a critical need for federal assistance.” he added: “If Trump authorizes funeral assistance through FEMA, the funds will be just enough to cover the essentials of a burial or cremation.”