‘FEMA is doing a great thing’: Agency to start reimbursing funeral costs for those lost to COVID-19

Published: Mar. 24, 2021 at 10:06 AM CDT
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ALBANY, Ga. (WALB) - FEMA will begin reimbursing funeral costs to families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 in April.

“Additional guidance is being finalized and will be released as soon as possible to provide all needed details on eligibility to receive reimbursement. In the interim, individuals who incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses are encouraged to gather and retain documentation,” FEMA said in a statement. The pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to many. At FEMA, our mission is to help people before, during, and after disasters. Although we cannot change the outcome of what has happened, we are dedicated to helping ease some of the financial stress and burden created by this deadly virus.”

Teri Franklin lost both of her parents to COVID-19. She works as a seamstress, but she didn’t have any income from her work when her parents passed.

“It was definitely challenging because I had stopped working to take care of my mom and my dad. So, I wasn’t seeing clients. So we’re having to pay the light bill, car notes, insurance on the house. You know all the things that came with being homeowners,” she told WALB News 10.

That’s after having to plan two funerals within weeks of one another.

“My dad passed no more than two, three weeks after my mom did. He passed April 18, so yes, it was very drastic it was horrifying, it was unreal,” she said.

She said no amount of money can replace loved ones, but she plans to take advantage of the reimbursement and encourages others to do the same.

“I honestly feel like FEMA is doing a great thing by reimbursing the families who have lost tremendously,” she said. “But at the end of the day, there’s not a value on a life.”

FEMA said they’re still working with communities to find the best ways to distribute the funds and outline eligibility factors.

Copyright 2021 WALB. All rights reserved.

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