BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — More than 560,000 people died because of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic. To help those families having to unexpectedly pay for a funeral, Sandra Evans with Rose & Quesenberry Funeral Home said the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is now providing $2 billion in financial assistance.
“This money is going to be set aside up to $9,000 per funeral,” Evans said. “If they buried multiple individuals with COVID, up to $35,500 per application.”
The average funeral can cost around $8,500. Evans said families sometimes do not realize how expensive funerals can be especially if they are unexpected.
“If you go with a traditional service, you’re still going to have the land, the vault that keeps the ground from moving up or sinking in, the head stone and the opening and closing of that ground and that can really run you if you’re not prepared for that,” Evans said.
However, not everyone can qualify for the program. If the deceased pre-planned their funeral, the family will not get reimbursed. For families to apply, they must call FEMA and apply on the phone with proper documentation for the person who passed and whoever paid for the funeral.
“That you have to fax or mail in will be the death certificate, it has to be certified and show that the death was COVID related. You’ll have your funeral bill, your receipts from paying that,” Evans explained.
To apply for the program, call FEMA at 844-684-6333. For more information on the assistance program, you can visit FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.