By Staff

BOSTON (CBS) — People who have lost loved ones to the coronavirus can now apply to be reimbursed for funeral expenses. FEMA began accepting applications Monday for its COVID-19 Funeral Assistance program.

The federal agency will reimburse funeral expenses up to $9,000 for anyone who lost someone to COVID-19 after January 20, 2020.

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Households that lost more than one person can receive up to $35,000. Applicants will have to provide paperwork on funeral costs and produce a death certificate that indicates the cause of death was attributed to COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line phone number is 844-684-6333. It’s open Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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More than 17,000 people have died from the coronavirus in Massachusetts. Secretary of the Commonwealth Bill Galvin said people can also visit his website for information on how to apply.

“So many people have lost loved ones to this pandemic and coping with the loss of a family member is hard enough without needing to worry about the costs of laying that person to rest,” Galvin said. “I encourage anyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19 to visit my website to learn more about the help that is available to them, even if the funeral has already been paid for.”

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