FEMA to pay up to $9,000 in COVID-19 related funeral costs to eligible families

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 8:12 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - On Monday April 12, you will be able to apply for financial assistance for COVID-19-related funeral expenses. You can click here for more information from FEMA’s website.

“There’s certain documentation that would be required, such as a certified death certificate, which indicated that their loved one passed away from COVID-19, or due to complications of COVID-19, “ Heather Fletcher explained. Fletcher is the funeral director apprentice with J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapel on Lover’s Lane.

The assistance applies to COVID-19 related funerals that took place after January 20, 2020. “The maximum reimbursement through FEMA would be up to $9,000 per service, should they have incurred that that amount of money,” Fletcher explained.

13 News also talked with Sonya Bragg, the director and general manager of Cone Funeral Home. She said this will be a big relief to families that suddenly lost a loved one to the coronavirus.

“I think it will help them just to have more closure, we’ve had so many families that weren’t able to have the service that they hoped for their loved one,” Bragg said. “Maybe this just might be able to another way that they can help remember their family and maybe use some of that money to help others as well.”

Fletcher agrees that this will mean a lot for families who lost a loved one to COVID-19, especially since so many people were laid off, or lost their jobs during the pandemic.

“For families in those situations, this definitely would be a relief. The expense, you know, for them when they lost a loved one was unexpected due to the virus,” she said.

While local funeral homes are not able to apply for assistance for you, they can point you in the right direction and provide resources for the application process.

As of now, funeral homes in Kentucky are still operating at 60 percent capacity. Lounge areas remain closed, and food is not allowed to be set out. With the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, Sonya Bragg looks forward to the day operations can go back to normal.

“That was a big thing that we always offer to families so we’re excited to be able from that lounge again,” Bragg said. “If we want to give you a hug and comfort you, we’re excited to get back to doing that because that’s really our heart here.”

To apply for financial assistance for funeral expenses, starting Monday you can call 844-684-6333 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Central Time.

To contact J.C. Kirby & Son Funeral Chapel you can call 270-842-0303.

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