FEMA is in the final stages of creating a fund to help low-income families pay for the funeral costs of COVID-19 victims. In an announcement Monday, Sen. Chuck Schumer and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said the fund would play a vital role in limiting the economic impact of the virus, with New York specifically allocated $260 million, WABC reports.

The New York lawmakers took point on the matter after New York City’s devastating April outbreak and the larger but better-managed holiday outbreak the area is still recovering from. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said her own experiences with funeral costs made her aware of the issue.

“My dad passed away when I was a teen, and I had to arrange his services,” she tweeted on Jan. 22. “The funeral expenses were part of the financial devastation, and I never wanted anyone else to experience that.”

Monday’s announcement brought further details, although the application process and distribution method for the fund is yet to be finalized.

The program was passed along with the December stimulus package. It will be limited to deaths that occurred before the end of 2020. Those affected will be eligible for up to $7,000 in reimbursements, and FEMA says that local governments won’t foot any of the bills for these services.

"The legislation further specifies that there is no cost-sharing requirement associated with this assistance. FEMA is reviewing the legislation and evaluating potential options for implementation,” a FEMA spokesperson told Business Insider.

New US Covid-19 cases have declined by 61 percent compared to the peak level of January 8, health officials say
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