FEMA to assist with funeral costs for COVID-19 related deaths

Paul Vernon

RICHLAND, Wash — When a loved one passes on, the last thing a family wants to deal with is the financial burden of funeral costs. With that in mind, local families who lost a loved one to COVID-19 may be eligible for funeral assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Einan’s at Sunset, a Richland-based funeral home, issued a press release on Monday reminding community members that they may be able to receive help. Under the recently passed Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA was authorized to disperse money for COVID-related funeral expenses for deaths after January 20, 2020.

Funeral assistance money is meant to aid the financial burden of funerals/memorial services, burials, interments, or cremations.

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Holley Sowards, Service and Operations Manager for Einan’s at Sunset Funeral Home, is empathetic for all of the people who’ve been forced to say goodbye to family members in this last year.

“Our hearts are with, not only the families we have served, but everyone in this community who is grieving the death of a loved one or friend due to the pandemic,” Sowards said. “While this assistance cannot take away their pain and grief, it will make a tremendous difference by enabling them to meaningfully honor the life of their loved one and lay them to rest with dignity.”

This financial assistance doesn’t just apply to people who’ve already held services. If you haven’t had the chance to lay a family member to rest yet, you can still apply for this assistance.

“FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance covers eligible expenses for the services you’ve already paid for when your loved one died,” said Sowards. “And, as our community becomes safer, your family may choose to plan a memorial service in your loved one’s honor that all of your family and friends can attend – something that many families are finding to be a meaningful experience. Those expenses may also be eligible.”

For more information regarding FEMA funeral assistance, you can call 1-844-684-6333 or click here to visit their website. If you want more specific information regarding FEMA assistance at Einan’s at Sunset, click here.


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