JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - During this COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of families in Mississippi found themselves having to bury a loved one who contracted the virus.
Now, federal dollars are available to help families with funeral costs.
Through its Funeral Assistance Program, FEMA is stepping in to help ease the financial burden that the pandemic caused families all over the country and the state.
The funds are for families who have had to bury a loved one due to the coronavirus after January 20th, 2020.
According to FEMA, to be eligible for the funds, the death certificate must indicate the death was attributed to COVID-19, and the death must have occurred in the United States.
The federal agency states there is no requirement for the deceased person to have been a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien.
Individuals can begin applying for the relief funds on April 12th.
However, in order to be reimbursed, individuals must also show the proper paperwork showing they paid for the funeral.
“They are going to need a death certificate, a certified death certificate for FEMA, and a statement of goods and services, which is a contract that lists all the services that they used,” said Trey Sebrell, President of Sebrell Funeral Home in Ridgeland. “They will need a receipt showing they paid.”
“If you had only had one (funeral), it is (up to) $9,000 for reimbursement, but if you have had multiple family members to die from COVID, then you can get up to $35,5000 as far as covering for the funeral costs,” said Audrey B. Wiley, Vice President of Westhaven Memorial Funeral Home in Jackson.
Starting at 8 a.m. on April 12th, individuals can dial 844-684-6333 to begin applying for the federal dollars.