While most of us are talking about reopening New Jersey after dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are burying loved ones who succumbed to the virus. In New Jersey, we've lost 25,692 blessed souls as Governor Murphy would say as of Thursday May 6, 2021. Many families thanks to the pandemic and unemployment caused by it, can't afford to bury their loved ones.

This is where the government comes in. As Caroline Scherrer, co-founder of People For The Poor, an organization that raises money for homeless shelters and soup kitchens, called in on Wednesday, April 28 to tell my New Jersey 101.5 listeners,

"As part of President Biden's $1.9 trillion Stimulus Package was FEMA's duty to reimburse a family up to $9,000 for funeral expenses of a loved one who passed away from COVID anytime starting from January 2020 onward," Scherrer said when she called into my show. "As of this date, there is no expiration of this policy. Now, if a family had insurance that paid any amount, that amount would be deducted from the $9,000."

So what do the families do?

"What the family has to do," Scherrer said, "is go to FEMA's Website and to the 'COVID-19 Funeral Assistance' for directions on how to apply by phone. There are multi-lingual representatives available. What is required is a death certificate stating the cause of death and all expenses that were paid. The funeral directors can give families that information."

This may not have been something people who have lost loved ones to COVID have thought of or even knew that was available. But it is something that could very well come in handy.

If you'd like to make a donation to "People For The Poor" and help the homeless click here.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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