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FEMA funeral program inundated by 1 million calls at launch

Thursday, April 15, 2021

The federal government program designed to help cover funeral costs for people who have died of COVID-19 was inundated with more than 1 million calls on its launch day.


The Federal Emergency Agency (FEMA) rolled out its hotline Monday, inviting Americans to apply for up to $9,000 per funeral and up to $35,500 per applicant to help with expenses related to coronavirus deaths occurring after January 20, 2020.

"The first day we opened up, there was definitely congestion on the line," Acting FEMA Director  Bob Fenton told lawmakers on the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee Wednesday. "We had a couple of technical issues with the service, but cleaned that up by the second day," Fenton said. "The second day was better than the first day. And I'm sure today will be much better than yesterday."

National Disaster Legal Aid

resource center

Disaster Legal Response Resources for Advocates

The National Disaster Legal Aid Advocacy Center welcomes all advocates and volunteers from nonprofit legal aid organizations, bar associations, pro bono counsel from law firms and corporations, law school students and faculty, and allied nonprofits working on disaster legal aid.

The Advocacy Center includes information disaster response initiatives, upcoming events for advocates, developments from the field, and access to a network of over 600 advocates across the country. It is free to join, but some areas are password-protected. The Advocacy Center is maintained by Lone Star Legal Aid, a legal service provider in Texas. 

Learn more about the history and programs behind DisasterLegalAid.org.