You are reading

AOC and Schumer Launch Funeral Fund for Low-Income Families Who Lost a Loved One to Covid-19

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and U.S. Senator Charles Schumer (Wikimedia commons)

Feb. 8, 2021 By Michael Dorgan

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Chuck Schumer have announced that $260 million will be made available to cover funeral costs for low-income families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 last year.

On average, around $7,000 will be made available to the families of deceased New York coronavirus victims who could not afford to cover the costs associated with taking care of their remains, the lawmakers said at a joint press briefing in Corona Monday.

Payments will be available retroactively to the families of victims who died between Jan. 20, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2020–although Schumer said efforts are underway to ensure the program is in place for the remainder of the pandemic.

The legislators said the funds will be available via FEMA’s Disaster Funeral Assistance program — part of the agency’s $2 billion Disaster Relief Fund.

The congresswoman said many people of color– particularly those in low-income neighborhoods–have been hit hard by the virus and many have not had the means to pay for a family member’s funeral arrangements.

She said that thousands of people who were already stretched financially have had to find ways to pay for the death of a relative.

Ocasio-Cortez said that many of these people are undocumented immigrants. She said undocumented immigrants will be eligible to tap into the fund.

The congresswoman’s district includes the Elmhurst, Corona and Jackson Heights neighborhoods – which were once considered the epicenter of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Many residents in the area have limited means and are new immigrants. Around 20 percent of Corona residents live below the poverty level, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The funds will cover casket costs, mortuary services, death certificates, and cremation or interment, the legislators said.

Schumer advised applicant families to work with the city, state and their funeral director to prepare the necessary paperwork.

Some of the documentation includes verifying the next of kin’s identity, his/her relationship to the deceased, a death certificate that lists the deceased’s death as related to COVID-19 and documentation of all costs associated with the family member’s funeral.

Schumer said that an online portal will be provided to submit documents and FEMA is setting up a call center where caseworkers will help residents with applications.

“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 word out,” Schumer said.

email the author: news@queenspost.com
No comments yet

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Southeast Queens man arraigned on weapons charges after cops search his ‘ghost car’ near LaGuardia Airport: DA

A Hollis man was criminally charged after police discovered a cache of weapons in his vehicle during a traffic stop. He was pulled over for driving a “ghost car” with obscured license plates in East Elmhurst near LaGuardia Airport during the early morning hours of June 12.

Judd Sanson, 27, of Jamaica Avenue, was ordered held without bail after he was arraigned in Queens Criminal Court on Thursday afternoon on a criminal complaint charging him with multiple counts of weapons possession, unlawful possession of pistol or revolver ammunition, and unlawful use of a police uniform or emblem and other crimes after the arsenal was found in his SUV.

‘Ghost car’ driver arrested in East Elmhurst after traffic stop reveals weapons, threatening note: NYPD

Police from the 110th Precinct in Elmhurst discovered an arsenal of weapons in a ghost car they pulled over on Ditmars Boulevard and 86th Street in East Elmhurst early Wednesday morning.

NYPD Chief of Department Jeffrey Maddrey held a press briefing at the 110th Precinct on Wednesday afternoon to discuss what the sergeant and three officers from the 110th Precinct public safety team found when they pulled over a black Ford Explorer at around 1:30 a.m. because it had blacked-out license plates.

Henry ‘Hank’ Krumholz, stalwart pioneer of Queens LGBTQ Pride, dies at 73

Henry “Hank” Krumholz, a pioneering gay rights activist in Queens, passed away on Sunday in his Flushing apartment at the age of 73.

Krumholz played a crucial role in the establishment and success of the Queens LGBTQ Pride Parade, which is held annually in Jackson Heights. He joined the parade’s sponsoring organization right after its inaugural event in 1993 and continued his involvement for decades. His passing came just a week after this year’s parade on June 2, marking its 31st anniversary.