Funeral Assistance Program reimburses families whose loved one died due to COVID-19

Coronavirus

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – If you’ve lost a loved one due to COVID-19, you may be able to get reimbursed for funeral expenses.

On Monday, April 12, FEMA began accepting applications for people who qualify for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred beginning Jan. 20, 2020.

More than half a million people have lost their life due to COVID-19, and that’s left a lot of families struggling financially and mentally. However, FEMA is trying to make the burden a little easier by reimbursing families up to $9,000 per funeral and up to $35,000 per application.  

“There’s a lot of families that are caught off guard with funeral expenses and cemetery, and unfortunately families have had multiple deaths due to COVID-19 and financially just are not able to bear the burden,” Rich Bishoff, Licensed Funeral Director at Snodgrass Funeral Home, said.

To apply, applicants will need to provide an official death certificate, funeral expense documents and proof of funds received from other sources.

“That person who has incurred the expenses has to make that application directly with FEMA and that is paid directly to that individual,” Bishoff said.  

A typical funeral cost between $8,000 to $10,000 with burial expenses, but most families have tried to go with lower-cost options.

“Cremation is usually a lot less. Anywhere from $2,500 to full scale, rental, casket, visitation, viewing, and then cremation, which is usually around it could be $5,600 and up,” Dawn Scott, Vice President at Ralph Scott Funeral Home said.

The funeral assistance program will also offer money to those who had to travel to see their loved ones.

“One of the most unique things that I noticed in reading through this paperwork is that it will also pay for transportation for up to two people who had to come identify the deceased.”

To apply, call the Funeral Assistance Call Center at (844) 684-6333.

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