CASPER, Wyo. — Wyoming residents who lost a loved one to COVID-19 are able to apply for up to $35,000 in funeral expense support “to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic,” the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security said in a press release Tuesday.
The Wyoming Department of Health report that 701 Wyoming residents have died after contracting COVID-19 since the pandemic began.
The funeral expense funding is available through the ederal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and people can call a dedicated toll-free helpline at 844-684-6333 to apply. FEMA representatives are available to assist callers from 7 am to 7 pm Monday-Friday.
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“The helpline has received thousands of calls, which is causing some callers to receive a busy signal,” the press release states. “Having the required documents ready when calling can ease some of the congestion.”
Eligibility requirements include the following:
The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after Jan. 20, 2020 for a death related to COVID-19.
If multiple individuals contributed toward funeral expenses, they should apply under a single application as applicant and co- applicant. FEMA will also consider documentation from other individuals not listed as the applicant and co-applicant who may have incurred funeral expenses as part of the registration for the deceased individual.
An applicant may apply for multiple deceased individuals.
The COVID-19-related death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia.
This assistance is limited to a maximum financial amount of $9,000 per funeral and a maximum of $35,500 per applicant.
Funeral assistance is intended to help with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.
People applying will need the following documentation:
An official death certificate that attributes the death to COVID-19 and shows that the death occurred in the United States. The death certificate must indicate the death “may have been caused by” or “was likely the result of” COVID-19 or COVID-19-like symptoms. Similar phrases that indicate a high likelihood of COVID-19 are considered sufficient attribution.
Funeral expense documents (receipts, funeral home contract, etc.) that include the applicant’s name, the deceased individual’s name, the amount of funeral expenses and dates the funeral expenses were incurred.
Proof of funds received from other sources specifically for use toward funeral costs. Funeral assistance may not duplicate benefits received from burial or funeral insurance, financial assistance received from voluntary agencies, federal/state/local/tribal/territorial government programs or agencies, or other sources.
“For more information about this assistance, visit COVID-19 Funeral Assistance FEMA.gov,” the release said. “Individuals who feel they need crisis counseling are encouraged to call Wyoming 2-1-1. This service provides free, confidential, health and human services information and referrals.”
NOTE: A previous version of this story said the press release was from the Wyoming Department of Health. While the WDH shared the release on their website, the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security issued the release. The story has been modified to reflect this.
The Latest Statistics from the Wyoming Department of Health:
What to do if you are feeling sick: In the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Casper-Natrona County Health Department says that people who are feeling sick or exhibiting symptoms should contact their primary physician.
If you do not have a primary care provider, and live in Natrona County, please contact the COVID-19 hotline, operated by the Casper-Natrona County Department of Health. The line is open Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 5:00 pm 577-9892. Hotline services are intended for Natrona County residents and may not be able to provide specific information to persons calling from out of county.
Officials ask that you please do not self-report to the Emergency Room. Persons experiencing problems breathing should call 9-11.
For general inquiries and non-symptom related questions about COVID-19, please contact the Casper-Natrona County Health Department via email: email@example.com
- Practice Social Distancing by putting distance between yourself and other people. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
A list of area closures attributed to COVID-19 are available here.