Congresswoman Barbara Lee, California, Oakland

Congresswoman Barbara Lee Announces Funding For COVID-19 Funeral Expenses

Washington, D.C. –– Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA-13) today announced $2 billion in special Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funds for families to afford proper funerals for their loved ones who passed away as a result of COVID-19. This program replicates the funding used for funeral assistance after Hurricane Katrina, and was inspired by legislation introduced by Congresswoman Lee and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) in May.

This program will allow families to be reimbursed up to $7,000 for funeral expenses. The funds will be retroactive through the beginning of the pandemic, January 20, 2020, to December 31, 2020.

“No one should struggle to afford a proper funeral for a loved one. During this time of unprecedented pain and economic hardship, it’s a moral imperative that the federal government step in and provide relief,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “FEMA is authorized for $2 billion as of right now and it is retroactive, reimbursing back to January 2020. Those interested in participating in the program will need expense documentation, a death certificate, and other personal information documents.”

“This must be a top priority in our response to this crisis. I’m proud to have partnered with Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Schumer on this crucial relief measure for families in California and across the country already beset by unimaginable grief. While the details for this plan are still evolving, I will be reaching out to my constituents as more information becomes available.”

Who Is Congresswoman Barbara Lee?

Congresswoman Lee is a member of the House Appropriations Committee and Chair of the subcommittee on State and Foreign Operations. She serves as Co-Chair of the Steering & Policy Committee, former Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Chair Emeritus of the Progressive Caucus, Co-Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Health Task Force, and Co-Chair of the Pro-Choice Caucus. She also serves as Chair of the Majority Leader’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity. As a member of the House Democratic Leadership, she is the highest ranking African American woman in the U.S. Congress.

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