A massive federal program to help families whose loved ones died of COVID-19 begins on Monday. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will start taking applications to reimburse families for funeral expenses related to COVID-19.
Allison Underwood's grandfather, Calvin Underwood, died from the coronavirus back in November. Funerals can be expensive, so Allison said the reimbursement will help.
“Some people just can’t afford to have a funeral even though they want to and they want to show how important their loved one is and have that traditional service based on their religion or whatever their preference is, they just can’t afford it," she said.
Calvin was the Post Commander for the VFW in Decatur. The VFW told her family about the funeral expenses reimbursement. Allison said she's thankful for both the VFW and FEMA.
“It means so much to me that FEMA is reaching out and helping in some aspect, because so many people have been affected in the United States," Allison said.
FEMA will reimburse funeral expenses up to $9,000, per funeral.
Allison said no dollar amount will be able to bring back her grandfather, though.
“For me personally, I don’t think a price tag is going to change the way I feel about the loss that I’ve had.”
However, she knows it will help not only her family but all those who've lost someone because of the virus.
"A lot of people have died due to this pandemic, I think it’ll impact so many people, so many people need help," said Allison. "The pandemic has damaged so many sectors of our economic life, social life, everything, so the impact is tremendous.”
To apply, you need to submit three things:
- An official death certificate.
- Documents of funeral expenses.
- Proof of funds received from other sources.
For more information on applying, click here.