June 25, 2021

FEMA program for Govt-19 victims stumbles upon death certificate data issues

Since the FEMA families do not have the documents, the relative’s death certificate must have been amended to make the payment. But the correction process is complicated, and doctors and medical examiners are reluctant to change the cause of death unless there is conclusive evidence – such as Test results – One person was subjected to Govt-19. As a result, many people in real financial need who have lost relatives with the virus cannot seek help. This is another inequality of an epidemic that has caused a disproportionate impact on marginalized Americans.

Two senior executives of FEMA said in recent weeks that people applying for funerals had told FEMA about medical staff’s opposition to amending death certificates.

Priya Banerjee, a forensic pathologist with experience dealing with Govt-19 cases, said, “I don’t feel like going back now and testing them.” “If I don’t have proof I won’t edit it. Govit is another clinical diagnosis that must be proven and not considered. I don’t want to help people make a false claim. It should go to qualified people. ”

The reluctance of doctors and medical examiners to change death certificates will delay or significantly reduce Americans’ ability to access FEMA assistance, and raises questions about how the company will ensure that people receive the money they deserve. Prevent widespread fraud. FEMA officials have long been concerned about the possibility of fraudsters submitting false death certificates.

A FEMA spokesman told Politico that the agency’s current requirements for financial assistance were “for interim policy.”

Over the past several weeks, FEMA officials have spoken with Rochelle Valensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and other senior corporate officials, including Representative Alexandria Ocacio-Cortez (DNY) and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Members were among the most severely affected in the early months of the epidemic The final show.

Those conversations focused on ways to reduce the burden on individuals seeking help – especially by changing the correctional policy that affects New Yorkers. The virus spread to the city early in the United States, and many died before the CDC instructed hospitals to use “Govit-19” in death certificates. FEMA has so far allocated $ 10 million to New Yorkers.

“We are actively working with FEMA to ensure that empathy and flexibility are at the center of this assistance,” Lauren Hit, communications director for Oaxacio-Cortez, said in a statement.

One of the senior executives who spoke with POLITICO said Capitol Hill Democrats were the first to urge FEMA to accept the death. Certificates listing symptoms commonly associated with Govit-19 such as pneumonia. FEMA quickly shot that claim because those symptoms could be associated with many viruses and diseases beyond Govit-19.

FEMA is considering submitting a certified letter from the original physician or medical examiner to persons who died in the spring of 2020 but were not listed on Covid-19 in their death certificates. FEMA has accepted similar letters in the past – including reports confirming that a person’s death after Hurricane Katrina was related to the storm.