The Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City has reached its goal of $1.5 million to launch the Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance Program. With funding support from SOMOS Community Care, Robin Hood, Trinity Church Wall Street, and Amalgamated Bank the program provides financial assistance to immigrants—regardless of legal status—who are unable to pay for the funeral expenses for relatives who died during the pandemic.
The Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance Program will address the current gap in services to some immigrant families due to their exclusion from the State and City’s existing burial assistance program. The Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance Program, created by the Mayor’s Fund with the support of the New York City Human Resources Administration (HRA) and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA), will help the loved ones of undocumented immigrants who have died during the COVID-19 pandemic grieve with dignity.
HRA, with support from New York State, provides some assistance for those who cannot afford funeral costs through its Burial Assistance program, which provides up to $1,700 toward burial expenses. This program is only available to families of low-income decedents without resources or assets available to pay for a funeral and who were eligible for HRA Cash Assistance, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) or Social Security benefits including Supplemental Security Income. Thus, the loved ones of undocumented immigrants are unable to access these funds.
HRA will screen all individuals who apply for burial assistance in the same manner that it currently does for its Burial Assistance program, and the Immigrant COVID-19 Burial Assistance Program will provide burial assistance funds to qualified immigrant New Yorkers in the form of pre-approval for the cost of a planned funeral or reimbursement for services that have already been paid. Additional information including the application and instructions can be found at https://www1.nyc.gov/site/hra/help/burial-assistance.page