Houston woman without father's death certificate months later, not the only one

A death certificate is required before loved ones can obtain all the financial benefits they are entitled to.

"This is my dad Jimmy Ho," said Angela Ho Beane as she showed us his picture.

"He's been through a lot," she said. "He escaped Cambodia and then he escaped from Vietnam to come to America."

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Those who knew Jimmy say he loved going to work. Tragically, that's where Jimmy was when he died from a heart attack on March 18.

Ho Beane still doesn't have a death certificate.

Tami Frazier, spokesperson for the Fort Bend County Judge, says the delay is due to a BioFire Swab. That swab tests for COVID which, if present, can lead to FEMA benefits.

She says the Fort Bend County Medical Examiner's Office is waiting for a new lab to sign a contract and the tests can be conducted.

"So I asked ‘Is my dad the only one in this situation?’ because what's going on," Ho Beane said. "And I was told that actually no, there's been over 30 more samples in the exact situation waiting."

Frazier says to her knowledge Jimmy Ho's death certificate is the only one affected.

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"It's mentally taxing and financially taxing," said Ho Beane. "Just because my dad passed doesn't mean the bills stop without closing this chapter and finalizing these things I feel like I can't move on."

The Medical Examiner has offered to provide Ho Beane with a letter to the insurance company, so her mother can start receiving some of the benefits.

Frazier says Ho Beane should get the final death certificate soon.