Funeral Costs for COVID Deaths Paid by Government

The costs of a funeral for people who died from COVID can be reimbursed by the government, but many people don’t take advantage of it.

In April 2021, FEMA offered to reimburse funeral expenses for COVID victims in the amount up to $9,000, which is about the average cost of a funeral.

A year into the program, which is also retroactive, more than 300,000 families have been reimbursed, averaging $6,500. But fewer than half of families have started applications, NPR reported.

Many surviving family members have experienced difficulties in applying, or they still don’t know the money is available, according to NPR. Online applications are not accepted.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) launched a call center, hiring 4,000 contractors in Denver.

Jaclyn Rothenberg, FEMA’s chief spokesperson, said: “Some people with death certificates didn’t necessarily have COVID listed as the cause of death,” she says. “We do have a responsibility to our taxpayer stewards to make sure that that is, in fact, the cause.”

Through March 15, 2022, Washington, D.C., had the most applications for reimbursement, with 77%., and North Carolina neared applications for two-thirds of deaths, according to NPR. In Oregon and Washington, however, less than one in three deaths resulted in an application.

There are no limits on income or life insurance for people applying, and there is no deadline. One of the few disqualifiers is if a funeral was pre-paid.

FEMA has an outreach program to promote the program, focusing on California, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, and efforts are targeting vulnerable populations.

COVID Survivors for Change has been helping people with the process, including through a Facebook webinar.

“We need people to continue helping us get the word out,” Rothenberg said. “We know we have more work to do.”

© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

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