With the application period for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's COVID-19 funeral reimbursement program now open, Attorney General Maura Healey and the Massachusetts Funeral Directors Association are advising residents to be wary of scams and not to give out personal and financial information over the phone or email.
Eligible individuals can receive up to $9,000 per funeral and $35,500 per application to defray funeral costs for people who died of COVID-19 from Jan. 20, 2020, onward.
More on FEMA's COVID-19 funeral reimbursement program
"Losing someone to COVID-19 has been devastating enough for so many families across the Commonwealth," Clarence Lyons Jr., president of the funeral directors group, said in a statement. "They don't need the added grief of being taken advantage at a time when they're already going through so much."
According to Healey's office, FEMA will not initiate contact with anyone by phone or email and has not authorized any companies to complete applications on behalf of the bereaved. Only the person who incurred the funeral expenses may apply for the money, and they must initiate the application by phone.
Applicants can call 844-684-6333 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.