FOX 2 - In two years, COVID-19 became one of the leading causes of death in America — trailing only heart disease and cancer.
During the pandemic, we saw how the deaths related to the virus took a toll on families emotionally, and financially, including funeral costs.
"The family is going to be very tempted to opt for expensive things in their grief, they want to memorialize and celebrate this person's life, in the right way. And I think they are going to make some poor financial decisions," said Ed Michael Reggie.
Reggie is the founder and CEO of Funeralocity.com - it’s a consumer advocacy website, which helps families manage affordable funeral costs.
"We were just bombarded from the moment the pandemic began," he said. "We were deeply involved. As you know, we’re based in New York. We hired two full-time funeral directors who were helping families because they couldn’t find a funeral home."
Funeralocity is working with FEMA’s funeral reimbursement program related to Covid deaths.
The initiative offers families of the deceased up to $9,000. According to average funeral costs, $9,000 is enough to pay for a cremation and most of what a burial costs.
FEMA says of the 975,000 Americans who died, less than half of the families have applied and that includes many in Michigan.
"FEMA wants to - number one, express sympathy from our government to the family, and second, to make sure they are speaking to the right people," Reggie said.
To be eligible for FEMA's funeral reimbursement program, a death certificate must indicate:
- COVID-19 as the cause of death.
- The death must have happened in the US.
- The applicant must have proper citizenship, but the deceased does not have to be an American citizen.
You must call FEMA’s funeral assistance hotline at 844-684-6333.
To learn more about Funerlocity.com GO HERE.