As the good news involving the COVID-19 vaccine and it's growing availability boosts our hopes, there are still some sobering numbers that can't be ignored from our still ongoing pandemic. Over 538,000 American have died from COVID-19 in the last year. And while cases are down, this country is still averaging over 1200 deaths per day due to COVID. Over 1200 families per day dealing with death, and having to make final arrangements. Yesterday, FEMA made a huge announcement regarding those funeral expenses.

Next month, FEMA will begin the process of reimbursing funeral costs for those who died due to COVID-19, according to KING5 News. Part of that process will be a toll free number that people will be able to call and apply for funeral assistance. Officials say that the number should be up and running in early April. They are currently finalizing training and other measures.

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It is not yet known what criteria or guidelines will be used to determine how much eligible families will receive. Where does the money for the program come from? KING5 reports that the stimulus package passed back in December of 2020 provided $2 billion to reimburse Americans for funeral expenses. At a hearing earlier this week, lawmakers stated that funding in the recently passed American Rescue Plan includes additional funding to cover COVID-19 funerals in 2021 as well.

Over 5,600 Iowans have lost their lives to COVID-19. They've lost family member forever. Hopefully having an unexpected expense like this covered, will provide them some comfort moving forward.


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