INDIANAPOLIS — NOTE: The above video is from a previous report on Hoosier's waiting for the funeral assistance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has now paid out nearly $30 million in COVID-19 funeral expenses to more than 4,200 Hoosiers. Nearly 7,000 Hoosier families have applied for assistance with funeral expenses.
In total, FEMA has paid more than $1.6 billion to more than 247,000 people to assist with COVID-19-related funeral costs for deaths occurring on or after Jan. 20, 2020.
The government provides a maximum of $9,000 per deceased individual and up to $35,000 per application for U.S. citizens who can provide proof their family member died of COVID-19 and had qualified expenses not covered by some other source.
To apply for assistance, people can call 844-684-6333 from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. EST, Monday through Friday.
FEMA warns Americans of scams related to the assistance program. The agency said it will not contact someone unless they have already called FEMA and applied for the assistance. It urges people to not disclose information such as the name, birth date, or Social Security Number of any deceased individual during an unsolicited telephone call or e-mail from anyone.
FEMA said its phone calls may come from an unidentified number. However, if there is any doubt about the call's legitimacy, hang up and report it to the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Helpline at 844-684-6333 or the National Center for Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721.