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Mainers Can Apply For Up To $9,000 For COVID-19 Related Funeral Expenses

Leonardo Cabana, Raphael Benevides
John Minchillo
AP file
In this Monday, May 11, 2020 file photo, Leonardo Cabaña cries in the arms of his friend, Raphael Benevides, beside the casket of his father, Héctor Miguel Cabaña, who died of COVID-19 before the funeral home service led by the Rev. Fabian Arias, in the Brooklyn borough of New York.

Mainers who lost a loved one to COVID-19 can apply for help with funeral expenses through a program that opened on Monday — but the website notes that a surge in demand has led to busy signals and missed calls.

As part of the American Rescue Plan, the program provides up to $9,000 dollars to those who faced funeral expenses after Jan. 20 of this year.

The money comes through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. There is no deadline to apply.

FEMA also notes that a scam has surfaced where scammers contact the bereaved and offer to sign them up for the program; officials stress that FEMA will never make such a call.