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Help is on the way for Americans who struggle to pay funeral expenses for loved ones who died of Covid-19.

Funeral directors say funeral expenses can range from $1,100 for cremation to $30,000.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced a program that will reimburse funeral expenses up to $7,000 for families of loved ones who died of Covid-19.

Recipients must be U.S. citizens or legal residents and provide funeral receipts for a loved one who died from Covid-19 after January 2020.

The $2 billion program is set to begin in April 2021 and will be funded through the $1.9 trillion federal coronavirus relief legislation enacted in March.

FEMA will being accepting applications in April. Reimbursement will be provided via check or direct deposit.

Anyone who received funeral insurance benefits will not be reimbursed under the program.

According to FEMA's website:

  • An official death certificate must indicate the cause of death was Covid-19
  • The death happened in the United States
  • The person applying for funds must be either a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • The deceased person does not have to be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • JIM WATSON/AFP via Getty Images

    The stock market reacted negatively to the news that Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief plan contains $1,400 stimulus checks.

    The market was unhappy that the plan doesn't include the $2,000 that the president-elect promised if the Democrats swept Georgia in the Senate runoffs.

    Biden announced his 2-step plan of "rescue and recovery" on Thursday, Jan. 14. The $1.9 trillion stimulus plan will include $400 billion for vaccine distribution and Covid-19 testing, $130 billion to reopen schools, as well as billions in economic aid to small businesses run by Black and brown people.

    The plan also includes a hike in the minimum wage to $15 per hour, extending unemployment benefits and the federal ban on evictions, both of which are set to expire in March.

    "We have to act and we have to act now," Biden said.

    His proposed bill is more than double the $900 trillion recently passed by Congress that included $600 stimulus checks for Americans, while billions were sent overseas to foreign countries.

    About those stimulus checks: Americans were expecting Biden to keep his promise of additional $2,000 checks if the Democrats swept the Georgia Senate runoffs in early January.

    Instead, the plan includes $1,400 stimulus checks, on top of the $600 checks already sent out -- for a total of $2,000.

  • $400 per week in supplementary unemployment benefits through September.
  • $350 billion to bailout mismanaged states, cities and territorial jurisdictions.
  • $160 billion to create a national program to mobilize vaccinations to 100 million people vaxxed in the first 100 days of the Biden administration.
  • $30 billion to help landlords pay their bills while their tenants live rent-free.
  • $25 billion for childcare providers.
  • Expanded food assistance, expanded child tax credits, and expanded medical and family leave of absence for illness.
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    Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

    Sean Combs played Santa Claus to 175 families in a struggling Miami neighborhood. Combs, 51, stopped by Miami's impoverished Overtown neighborhood with a fistful of cash on Dec. 29.

    In addition to handing out $50 cash and $50 Publix supermarket gift certificates to each resident, Combs, aka Puff Daddy, P. Diddy and Brother Love, blessed 175 families with rental assistance.

    Tamargo/Getty Images

    Combs wore a clear face shield over designer glasses and black latex gloves. He was dressed in a multicolor Coogi sweater and designer sneakers. The middle aged mogul arrived wearing a face mask which he soon removed to greet excited Overtown residents.

    The Sean Combs foundation along with Headliner Market Groups and local charity Teens Exercising Extraordinary Success (T.E.E.S) provided rental assistance to families struggling to pay their bills amid the Covid-19 outbreak.

    Local activist Michael Gardner handed out gift bags filled with essentials such as hygiene products.

    Earlier this year, his company, Combs Enterprises, launched the "Our Fair Share" program, an online platform dedicated to helping minority small business owners through the economic hardships brought on by the lockdowns across the U.S.

    Charitable donations are eligible for huge tax write-offs come tax time.

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    Screenshot: YouTube

    The first $600 Covid-19 relief direct deposit payments hit bank accounts last night. Many Americans took to social media to confirm they received their Covid-19 stimulus payments before midnight.

    Millions more checks will go out in the snail mail starting today and continuing into next week.

    Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin confirmed that the "Americans' Economic Impact Payments" direct deposits hit bank accounts last night.

    "Treasury and the IRS are working with unprecedented speed to issue a second round of Economic Impact Payments to eligible Americans and their families.

    "These payments are an integral part of our commitment to providing vital additional economic relief to the American people during this unprecedented time."

    Most eligible Americans (and some non-citizens) will receive Economic Impact Payments of up to $600 for individuals or $1200 for married couples and up to $600 for each qualifying child. A family of 5 can receive $3,000.

    Individuals who earned over $75,000 in 2019 or couples with combined income of $150,000 are not eligible for stimulus checks.

    President Donald Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to fast-track a standalone bill to increase the payments from $600 to $2000 per American.

    AFP via Getty Images

    President Donald Trump urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to fast-track a standalone bill that would increase stimulus checks from $600 to $2,000.

    McConnell angered Senate Democrats by blocking an attempt by Minority Leader Chuck Schumer to fast-track the bill to the Senate floor for a vote on Tuesday.

    "Unless Republicans have a death wish, and it is also the right thing to do, they must approve the $2000 payments ASAP. $600 IS NOT ENOUGH!," Trump tweeted on Tuesday.

    On Monday, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders threatened to block McConnell's attempt to override Trump's veto of the defense bill unless the Senate holds "an up or down vote to provide the working people of our country a $2,000 direct payment."

    AFP via Getty Images

    The House passed a standalone bill to boost stimulus checks from $600 to $2000 for struggling Americans under the CASH ACT.

    The House voted 275-134 to increase the coronavirus relief checks to $2,000. Two House Democrats voted NO to increase direct payments to $2,000.

    The bill now heads to the Senate where Republicans hold the majority.

    Last week, House Republicans rejected President Donald Trump's demand to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 in the $900 billion Covid relief bill.

    On Sunday night, Trump signed the Covid-19 relief package -- with $600 checks -- into law.

    Trump issued a statement afterward saying he signed the pork-filled package to restart unemployment benefits and a federal ban on evictions, as well as to avoid a government shutdown.

    In addition to calling on Congress to pass $2000 checks, Trump also called on Congress to eliminate Big Tech's protections under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act and to investigate incidents of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

    Win McNamee/Getty Images

    House Republicans rejected President Donald Trump's demand to increase the $600 stimulus checks to $2,000 in the $900 billion Covid relief bill.

    House Republicans blocked a proposal to increase the payments in a vote on Thursday, Dec. 24, according to the Associated Press.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to increase the paltry $600 direct payments to $2,000 after Trump criticized the Covid relief package as a "disgrace" last week.

    But the Democrats effort to amend the relief package failed on Thursday.

    Trump left Washington DC on Wednesday without signing the massive, pork-filled legislation. If House Republicans had approved the Democrats' proposal, some Americans could have received $10,000 for a family of 5 in direct payments by January 6th.

    House Democrats will vote again on Monday to pass an amended stimulus package, with a new stand-alone bill for the $2,000 checks. The House will also attempt to override Trump's veto of the $750 billion National Defense Authorization Act, as a government shutdown looms.

    In addition to a government shutdown, a federal ban on evictions will also run out by Dec. 31, as will the $300 per week in additional unemployment benefits.

    Getty Images

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer agreed to President Donald Trump's demand to increase the paltry $600 direct payments to $2,000 per American or he would refuse to sign their $900 billion pork-filled Covid-19 relief package.

    If Trump signs the bill this week, some Americans may receive $6,000 for a family of three or $10,000 for a family of 5 in direct payments before Christmas.

    The 5,593-page legislation was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for providing only $600 per American while giving billions of dollars to corporations, lobbyists and foreign entities (read the pdf here).

    In a video statement on Tuesday evening, Trump called the Covid relief package a "disgrace", saying it contained tons of pork-barrel checks to corporations, lobbyists and foreign countries, while providing only $600 to Americans who have suffered through lockdowns and evictions.

    "Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists, and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people who need it," Trump said.

    Some of the pork contained in the bill includes $453 million to Ukraine, $700 million to Sudan, $10 million to Pakistan for "gender programs", and tens of millions to the Smithsonian and Kennedy Arts Centers - neither of which are open to the public.

    Pelosi called the $600 direct payments "significant", but she changed her tune when Trump called her out on Tuesday.

    "Republicans repeatedly refused to say what amount the President wanted for direct checks. At last, the President has agreed to $2,000-Democrats are ready to bring this to the Floor this week by unanimous consent. Let's do it!" Pelosi tweeted on Tuesday night.

    "We spent months trying to secure $2,000 checks but Republicans blocked it," Schumer tweeted. "Trump needs to sign the bill to help people and keep the government open and we're glad to pass more aid Americans need. Maybe Trump can finally make himself useful and get Republicans not to block it again."

    Neither Schumer or Pelosi admitted that Trump blocked their earlier proposals because of the massive payments to Democrat states that allowed rioters and looters to burn down their cities over the summer.

    Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    President Donald Trump is refusing to sign the pork-filled Covid-19 relief package that the House and Senate adopted on Monday.

    The 5,593-page legislation was criticized by both Republicans and Democrats for providing only $600 per American while giving billions of dollars to corporations, lobbyists and foreign entities.

    House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the $600 direct payments "significant."

    Referring to the Covid relief bill as a "disgrace," Trump demanded that the $600 direct payments be increased to $2,000 per eligible American.

    "Congress found plenty of money for foreign countries, lobbyists and special interests, while sending the bare minimum to the American people, who need it, “ Trump said on Tuesday evening.

    "I am asking Congress to amend this bill and increase the ridiculously low $600 to $2,000, or $4,000 for a couple," as well as "immediately get rid of the wasteful and unnecessary items from this legislation."

    The legislation, which Trump said "nobody in Congress has read because of its length and complexity," was made public just hours before the House and Senate vote on Sunday.

    Paul Hennessy/NurPhoto/Getty Images

    Family members of undocumented immigrants who are in this country illegally will receive $600 stimulus checks in the new Covid aid package.

    Congress reached a $900 billion deal on Covid relief aid on Sunday after months of negotiations. The legislation includes a second round of economic-impact payments to Americans and non-citizens.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, households will receive $600 for each adult and $600 for each child or dependent, instead of $1,200 and $500, respectively.

    Eligible households include individuals with adjusted gross incomes under $75,000 and married couples who earn under $150,000.

    The new deal, ironed out by the Democrats, includes direct payments for "mixed households." Mixed households refers to "ineligible non-citizens" or people who are in the country illegally and were shut out of the $1,200 stimulus payments in the first round.

    The new legislation means non-citizens could get $600 checks plus $1,200 checks retroactively. Undocumented immigrants are eligible to receive a minimum of $1,800 before Christmas.

    Unemployed workers are eligible for a $300-a-week subsidy in addition to weekly state unemployment benefits.

    The legislation also extends to 50 weeks the amount of time unemployed workers can claim benefits. Most states typically provide 26 weeks of jobless benefits.

    Additionally, the bill contains $25 billion to extend the federal eviction ban moratorium.

    $22.4 billion was also set aside for Covid "testing, contact tracing, surveillance, containment, and mitigation."