Americans are eligible for $9,000 for COVID funeral expenses — but there's a glitch

Some Americans are having difficulty accessing coronavirus funeral expense payments, according to a new report by Politico.

"Thousands of Americans seeking federal funeral assistance for coronavirus victims can't collect because their family members' death certificates do not list Covid-19, according to two senior administration officials with direct knowledge of the situation," Politico reported. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency rolled out the $2 billion pandemic funeral assistance program in April, modeling it on similar efforts it has run after major hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. The funding came from a $2.3 trillion spending package that former President Donald Trump signed in December 2020, making it the largest funeral assistance program FEMA has ever handled."

"More than 200,000 people have sought reimbursement of up to $9,000 per family for Covid-19-related funeral expenses. But eligibility is limited to those who have death certificates stating that their family member's death was caused by, 'may have been caused by' or 'was likely a result of' Covid-19 or Covid-19-like symptoms. That excludes thousands of Americans who died early in the pandemic, when doctors were still learning how to diagnose the disease and testing to confirm cases was limited," Politico explained.