While the vaccine is now available to all Pennsylvanians age five and older, the toll COVID-19 has taken on human life remains staggering. Sadly, the virus has killed more than 864,000 Americans since March 2020, including nearly 40,000 Pennsylvanians.
No amount of money can ease the pain of losing a loved one to COVID, but government assistance may be available to ease the financial burden that an unexpected death from the disease can cause.
Locally, Congresswoman Susan Wild is working to help spread the word about it.
Wild (D-7), represents Lehigh Valley in the United States House of Representatives, where she helped pass the US rescue plan Last year.
“Thousands of our community members … (have) experienced unimaginable grief on top of the already difficult pandemic,” Wild said of the emotional toll the COVID deaths have taken on many in the district. “In response, (Congress) passed the US bailout, which President Biden signed into law last year, to provide everyone with a safe and accessible vaccine, support our small businesses, reopen schools safely and also to ease the financial burden of those most affected. families in our community.
Wild said that according to the plan, FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is accepting requests for assistance to cover the cost of funerals for victims of COVID-19 and will pay up to $9,000 in costs per funeral, or up to $35,000 per request. The allocated funds will cover expenses such as caskets, urns, burial plots, cremation and more.
Area residents can apply for COVID-19 funeral assistance and learn more about it on the FEMA website. or call the COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Hotline at 844-684-6333.
Wild noted in his press release that the majority of hospitalizations in the state are among unvaccinated patients and those who remain unvaccinated have a higher risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death, which is why the Vaccination is strongly recommended and remains the best way to protect yourself. yourself and others from illness.
She added that she hopes people won’t need to rely on FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance program, but that her office is available to help if they do.
More information is available by contacting one of Wild’s three local offices at the following numbers: 484-781-6000 in Allentown, 570-807-0333 in Stroudsburg or 610-333-1170 in Easton.