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Hays County Shares New COVID-19 Resources from FEMA

Hays County is sharing several COVID-19 resources available to the public from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), including funeral assistance, emergency broadband and a crisis hotline. See the information below and be sure to click the links to the various websites for more details and program requirements.

FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance

FEMA will provide financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses incurred after Jan. 20, 2020, under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.

 To be eligible for funeral assistance, applicants must meet these conditions:

  • The death must have occurred in the United States, including the U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia.
  • The death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19.
  • The applicant must be a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who incurred funeral expenses after January 20, 2020.
  • There is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.

Call the dedicated toll-free phone number to get a COVID-19 Funeral Assistance application completed with help from FEMA’s representatives. COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Line 844-684-6333 (Multilingual services available.) | TTY: 800-462-7585. Hours of Operation: Monday – Friday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. Please review the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance FAQs for further information and guidance.

Emergency Broadband Benefit

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is an FCC program to help families and households struggling to afford internet service during the COVID-19 pandemic. This new benefit will connect eligible households to jobs, critical healthcare services, virtual classrooms, and so much more. The Emergency Broadband Benefit will provide a discount of up to $50 per month towards broadband service for eligible households and up to $75 per month for households on qualifying tribal lands. Eligible households can also receive a one-time discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, desktop computer, or tablet from participating providers if they contribute more than $10 and less than $50 toward the purchase price.

The Emergency Broadband Benefit is limited to one monthly service discount and one device discount per household. A household is eligible if a member of the household meets one of the criteria below:

  • Has an income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines or participates in certain assistance programs, such as SNAP, Medicaid, or Lifeline;
  • Approved to receive benefits under the free and reduced-price school lunch program or the school breakfast program, including through the USDA Community Eligibility Provision in the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 school year;
  • Received a Federal Pell Grant during the current award year;
  • Experienced a substantial loss of income due to job loss or furlough since February 29, 2020, and the household had a total income in 2020 at or below $99,000 for single filers and $198,000 for joint filers; or
  • Meets the eligibility criteria for a participating provider’s existing low-income or COVID-19 program.

There are three ways for eligible households to apply:

  1. Contact your preferred participating broadband provider directly to learn about their application process.
  2. Go to GetEmergencyBroadband.org to apply online and find participating providers near you.
  3. Call 833-511-0311 for a mail-in application; return it along with copies of documents showing proof of eligibility to:

Emergency Broadband Support Center

P.O. Box 7081

London, KY 40742

Visit the Emergency Broadband Benefit webpage for more information and guidance.

Disaster Distress Helpline

Stress, anxiety, and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster. The Disaster Distress Helpline is a 24/7, 365-day-a-year, national hotline dedicated to providing immediate crisis counseling for people experiencing emotional distress. To reach the hotline: From the United States and its territories, call or text 1-800-985-5990 to connect with a trained crisis counselor. Spanish-speakers can call the hotline and press “2” for 24/7 bilingual support; callers to the hotline can also connect with counselors in more than 100 other languages. This crisis support service is for anyone experiencing emotional distress related to disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and wildfires, but also for those who need support related to COVID-19 and incidents of community unrest. Please visit the Disaster Distress Helpline page for more information.

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Hays County