© 2022 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

FEMA's billion dollar funeral reimbursement fund covers some costs paid by family members

Erin Guido finishes painting the slogan "We are in this together!" at a construction site during the coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Cleveland.
Tony Dejak
/
Associated Press
Erin Guido finishes painting the slogan "We are in this together!" at a construction site during the coronavirus pandemic, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Cleveland.

FEMA’s funeral reimbursement fund sets aside money for families of victims of COVID-19 and there is plenty available in Ohio.

The program was launched last year and it provides up to $9,500 for family members who paid for victim’s funerals. That comes from a pool of over $122 million in the state. As of Aug. 18, the Ohio Department of Health says at least 39,206 people in the state have died from COVID-19.

So far there are 22,714 applicants. Almost all requests have received some kind of funding, with 18,860 awards to date. There is no deadline to apply for reimbursement and no income-based requirements. The fund covers deaths occurring on or after Jan. 20, 2020.

Money available varies state by state. Over $2.7 billion is available across the country and 420,784 applicants have received money as of Aug. 19.

People can contact FEMA Monday through Friday to apply for reimbursement. The phone number is 844-684-6333 calls are answered from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Tyler Thompson is a reporter and on-air host for 89.7 NPR News. Thompson, originally from northeast Ohio, has spent the last three years working as a Morning Edition host and reporter at NPR member station KDLG Public Radio and reporter at the Bristol Bay Times Newspaper in Dillingham, Alaska.