FEMA to offer COVID-related funeral assistance


By Aimee Hancock

Miami Valley Today

TROY — The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will soon provide financial assistance for COVID-related funeral expenses, according to Miami County Emergency Management Agency Director Joel Smith.

During his weekly COVID-19 update to the Board of Miami County Commissioners on Thursday, Smith said FEMA will begin accepting applications for the reimbursement program within the next week or so to provide financial assistance for COVID-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020.

Documentation needed for application will include an official death certificate, funeral expense documents, and proof of funds received from other sources that were used toward funeral costs. Approved applicants may receive up to $9,000 in reimbursement funds.

For more details, visit www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance. Smith said a 1-800 number will be posted on FEMA’s website as soon as the program is officially launched.

The Ohio Department of Transportation announced earlier this month its intent to support counties throughout the state in assisting vulnerable populations with transportation to vaccine clinic locations.

During Thursday’s meeting, commissioners authorized Miami County Public Transit Manager Sarah Baker to file an application with ODOT for the Rides to Community Immunity (RCI) program.

ODOT has made $7 million available through the RCI program to all 88 counties in the state. By applying for the county’s share of the funds, Miami County Public Transit (MCPT) can now offer free rides for Miami County residents who need transportation to their COVID-19 vaccination appointment or any COVID-related appointment.

To plan a trip to and from any location inside the boundaries of Miami County, MCPT requires scheduling rides 24 hours in advance, and recommends scheduling as much as seven days in advance for better chances of getting the days and times needed.

Call 335-RIDE (7433) to schedule a trip. For more information, visit www.miamicountyohio.gov/transit.

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