You are reading

AOC Introduces Bill to Cover Funeral Expenses of COVID-19 Victims

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (Image by nrkbeta via Flickr)

May 13, 2020 By Michael Dorgan

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced a bill that would require the federal government to cover the funeral expenses of coronavirus victims.

The COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Act would require FEMA to provide $10,000 to the families of deceased COVID-19 victims to cover the costs associated with taking care of their remains.

Ocasio-Cortez introduced the bill with California Congresswoman Barbara Lee yesterday, which was sponsored by 12 other House Members including Queens Congresswoman Grace Meng. The bill is not part of the $3 trillion HEROES Act, which was unveiled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi Tuesday.

Ocasio-Cortez, who represents New York’s 14th Congressional district–the hardest-hit district by COVID-19 in the nation, said she introduced the bill because the virus had disproportionately impacted low-income communities.

She said that funeral expenses can add an additional burden on these families who are already financially strained. Ocasio-Cortez said that covering these costs is the “absolute least” the government can do to help them out.

“It is the very core, basic measure of human dignity,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a statement.

“And in the richest country in the world, we should be able to allow people to bury their loved ones in dignity,” she said.

If enacted, the bill would create a COVID-19 Burial Fund that would be run and administered by FEMA. The funds would be distributed to families that do not have insurance to cover such expenses.

Under the proposed legislation, families of undocumented immigrants would also qualify for the funds.

The money would be backdated to January 21, 2020 to account for those who have already been buried, according to the legislation.

More than 20,000 New York City residents have lost their lives due to COVID-19 complications since the outbreak began.

email the author: [email protected]

10 Comments

Click for Comments 
Rob Loera

I’m gonna lose my father here in the coming days. Has anything come of this bill?

Reply
LL

Has she sent flowers to any of them? It would be nice if she set an example and used her pay check to send some relief.

11
4
Reply
Decent and proper

A creamation in a cardboard coffin (my request and done by three others I knew) is under $2,000.! NEVER pay to repatriate remains with public money!!!
Donate the young bodies for parts recycling/research/training. Remains come back to the family via UPS.
Propose legislation that crematories can only creamate remains in a cardboard coffin. Wood coffins take much longer, use gas and contribute te to air pollution!

6
3
Reply
Gardens Watcher

AOC’s bill proposes that the government should create a fund of $500 million that would cover up to $15,000 (not $10,000) in funeral expenses if the deceased’s family doesn’t have insurance to cover it.

NYC and NY state are broke, and it’s uncertain when, or even if Congress will pass the HEROS bill to give us relief. That’s a priority, or even more people will lose their jobs with more cutbacks.

Perhaps she should spearhead a private national fundraising campaign to raise this money.

18
73
Reply
sure, lets make everything free, why not?

Has this woman done anything of substance since she got in?
Except get headlines for being who she is?
waste of a congressional seat

34
74
Reply
What's wrong with Trump redistributing wealth to give everyone free money?

Why are you criticizing AOC for following his lead? Sure Trump gave away MASSIVELY more money than that but

37
16
Reply
Useful Charity

free? So she is paying for it? Or our taxes?

I’d rather pay to feed the live ones….

32
72
Reply
Occasional Cortex

If you die from boring old cancer, a stroke or get struck by lightning, too bad.

27
72
Reply

Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

Op-ed: An urgent call for revising NY’s criminal justice reforms to protect public safety

Apr. 11, 2024 By Council Member Robert Holden

In 2019, the State Legislature and Governor Andrew Cuomo embarked on a controversial overhaul of New York’s criminal justice system by enacting several laws, including cashless bail and sweeping changes to discovery laws. Simultaneously, the New York City Council passed laws that compounded these challenges, notably the elimination of punitive segregation in city jails and qualified immunity for police officers. These actions have collectively undermined public safety and constrained law enforcement effectiveness.