Trenton – In response to the economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee today passed legislation sponsored by Senator Ronald Rice which would establish the ‘2020 New Jersey Burial Assistance Program.’
“Almost everyone in New Jersey knows at least one person that has passed away due to COVID-19,” said Senator Rice (D-Essex). “These unexpected deaths have not only brought sadness to loved ones, but have added on to the economic hardships under which many are already suffering. This bill will alleviate some of the expenses associated with planning a funeral service, helping to make a difficult time just a little easier.”
The bill, S-2487, would establish a burial assistance program in the Department of Human Services for individuals whose loved ones passed away due to COVID-19. Under the bill, $20 million will be appropriated to provide burial assistance to qualifying New Jersey residents.
In order to qualify for this program, the applicant must be a New Jersey resident, must be filing for a death attributed to COVID-19, and the applicant cannot have any additional funeral expenses covered by other sources. In addition, the applicant would be required to submit an official death certificate, and itemized funeral bill, documentation of burial insurance and any forms of funeral assistance received, documentation regarding the applicant’s available assets, and proof of New Jersey residency.
The bill was released from committee by a vote of 7-0.