Covid-19 Update: Excelsior Pass, Funeral Expenses

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin providing financial assistance for funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020 for deaths related to coronavirus  to help ease some of the financial stress and burden caused by the pandemic. 

“At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during and after disasters,” said Acting FEMA Administrator Bob Fenton. “The COVID-19 pandemic has caused immense grief for so many people. Although we cannot change what has happened, we affirm our commitment to help with funeral and burial expenses that many families did not anticipate.”

To be eligible for assistance, the policy states:

  • 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 attributed 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 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 application.  
  • Funeral assistance is intended to assist with expenses for funeral services and interment or cremation.

In the coming weeks, a dedicated 800 number will be established to help individuals who apply. In the meantime, potential applicants are encouraged to start gathering 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.

Excelsior Pass

New York will launch Excelsior Pass, a free, voluntary platform  which utilizes secure technology to confirm an individual’s recent negative Covid-19  test result or proof of vaccination.

The goal is to help the reopening of businesses and event venues in accordance with New York State Department of Health guidelines.

Similar to a mobile airline boarding pass, individuals will be able to either print out their pass or store it on their smartphones using the Excelsior Pass Wallet app. Each Pass will have a secure QR code, which participating businesses and venues can scan using a companion app to verify proof of COVID-19 negative test results or proof of vaccination. An individual’s data is kept secure and confidential at all times.

 Participating New Yorkers can use Excelsior Pass to verify their COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results as needed to gain entry to major stadiums and arenas, wedding receptions, or catered and other events above the social gathering limit. New Yorkers can opt in to use Excelsior Pass and learn more here;  businesses can opt in and learn more here. Major venues will begin utilizing this technology in the coming weeks, including Madison Square Garden in New York City beginning next week and the Times Union Center in Albany. Beginning April 2, Excelsior Pass will expand to smaller arts, entertainment and event venues. 

 

State Vaccination Update

Region

Total Doses Received

Total Doses Administered

% of Total Doses Administered/Received

Capital Region

710,885

540,729

76.1%

Central New York

561,120

480,649

85.7%

Finger Lakes

649,480

553,576

85.2%

Long Island

1,263,625

1,039,731

82.3%

Mid-Hudson

1,024,615

851,151

83.1%

Mohawk Valley

300,840

243,468

80.9%

New York City

4,713,715

4,022,369

85.3%

North Country

298,515

271,137

90.8%

Southern Tier

349,585

299,567

85.7%

Western New York

663,670

583,174

87.9%

Statewide

10,536,050

8,885,551

84.3%

 

Vaccinations in New York

  • Total doses administered – 8,885,551
  • Total doses administered over past 24 hours – 194,837
  • Total doses administered over past 7 days – 1,251,746
  • Percent of New Yorkers with at least one vaccine dose – 29.2%
  • Percent of New Yorkers with completed vaccine series – 16.3% 

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