GALENA, KS – Dealing with the loss of a loved one to coronavirus is tough enough on its own, but paying the bill for the funeral can make it even tougher.
But those facing a financial hardship due to funeral costs may get some help from the federal government.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency could reimburse thousands of dollars of funeral costs.
But there are some guidelines you must meet.
“Anyone is eligible to apply based on the criteria on FEMA’s website. They’re really looking at reimbursing a financial hardship.” Says Stephen Derfelt, Derfelt Funeral Home.
The assistance applies specifically to deaths that take place in the U.S. with a cause of death attributed to COVID-19.
You can receive up to $9,000 per funeral for costs ranging from a casket and funeral services to a burial plot and headstone.
“More than one individual can apply on the application, you can have a co-applicant. But my understanding is that FEMA will only pay up to one individual, so then it would be their responsibility to reimburse their family members who have helped with the funeral bill.” Derfelt says.
Some costs are not eligible for the program, including those covered by pre-planned or pre-paid funeral arrangements.
“The way FEMA answers that question is: if you have insurance, that was specifically turned over to the funeral home beforehand, or a premium funeral agreement with a funeral home. That’s not eligible to be reimbursed. But if you had private insurance and you chose to use your private insurance to pay the funeral bill, that is eligible to be reimbursed.” Derfelt says.
You have to contact FEMA directly by phone to start the application process.