KSL INVESTIGATES

COVID-19 funeral assistance available to reimburse funeral costs for families 

Feb 1, 2022, 10:15 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 3:46 pm

SALT LAKE CITYMore Americans lose their lives to COVID-19 with each passing day. There is financial help from the federal government for families who lose loved ones to the virus, but most people are not getting it. 

The saddest reality of this pandemic is the death toll. Close to 900,000 Americans have perished. 

Through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the families of patients where COVID-19 contributed to their deaths have been eligible for “COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.”  

The billion-dollar fund covers “$9,000 per deceased individual.” The money can go towards just about every type of death and funeral expense you can think of.

Any American is eligible, and families need only a death certificate and receipts for their funeral expenses. 

But as the KSL Investigators examined the federal data, it shows most Americans who qualify are not even applying for the money. Of the more than 800,000 deaths, only families of an estimated 300,000 have filed for the reimbursement.  

Here in Utah, $7,140,566 has been reimbursed to 1,674 applicants.

We have had 4,107 deaths and 60% of eligible Utah families have missed out on this assistance. 

“It’s certainly amazing,” said Ed Michael Reggie of the program.

Reggie is a former hospital administrator and now makes a living comparing funeral costs on the website Funeralocity.com. He said the FEMA money could completely cover the funeral costs for most people. 

“Believe you me, this is generous, because the average funeral in America for burial is $7,700. A cremation is $4,500,” Reggie said. 

So, why aren’t people applying?

Reggie suspects it is a combination of people not knowing about the fund and others perhaps feeling too overwhelmed to deal with bureaucratic red tape as they mourn. 

“All the feedback we’re hearing from families, from funeral directors, is that it’s a pretty simple process,” he said. 

FEMA isn’t letting people do this online, but you can find more information here.  

To apply, you need to call 888-684-6333. 

And if you have lost a loved one, even if it was back in early 2020, there is no deadline to apply for reimbursement. 

KSL Investigates

A buckle in the sidewalk on West Temple is pictured in this KSL file image. Salt Lake City later re...

Annie Knox and Daniella Rivera

Before scooter rider crashed in Salt Lake City, complaint warned sidewalk was ‘a neck breaker’

A broken Salt Lake sidewalk is more than an eyesore and can be a safety issue. Is enough being done to repair hazards? KSL Investigates.

4 days ago

FILE - This combination of 2017-2022 photos shows the logos of Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapch...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Scammers offer to help regain control of hacked social media accounts for a fee

People are advertising they can help you get back into your hacked social media accounts. It is a lie.

4 days ago

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got p...

Matt Gephardt

Utahns fighting for refunds on postponed Aerosmith concert

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got pushed to a day that no longer works for him. He decided to Get Gephardt when his quest for a refund hit a dead end.

6 days ago

The KSL Investigators purchased four supermarket containers of strawberries, spinach and grapes to ...

Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Food for thought: Do storage containers keep your fruits and veggies fresh longer?

Many manufacturers claim their food storage containers will keep fruits and vegetables fresh longer. The KSL Investigators tested just how well those bins live up to their hype.

10 days ago

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly sa...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Food for thought: How understanding date labels can prevent food waste

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly safe to eat. Decoding date labels could help you bust inflation.

11 days ago

KSL’s Matt Gephardt price shopped several items at traditional grocery stores and specialty food ...

Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Will shopping specialty food markets save you money?

To save money on your groceries, a specialty food market might not come to mind. But KSL Consumer Investigator Matt Gephardt found branching out to specialty food markets might help you bust some grocery inflation.

12 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

COVID-19 funeral assistance available to reimburse funeral costs for families