The Federal Emergency Management Agency is still providing financial assistance to help with COVID-19 related funeral costs.

Local funeral directors said they’re trying to make sure people know this reimbursement program is still out there for people to take advantage of.

This comes at a time when local health leaders said we are starting to see an increase in COVID-19 cases due to the Omicron variant.

Those with Meadors Funeral Home in Republic said many families going through losing a loved one to COVID-19 can feel some relief from the FEMA assistance program.

“It’s going to cover any of the costs that are going to be on our bill. It could cover the opening and closing of a grave,” said Funeral Home Manager, Rita Bishop. “As I said, cemetery plots, stones, cremations, really it covers all the costs that you would have in a service.”

FEMA recently reported they’ve provided $1.6 billion to more than 247,000 people to assist with COVID-19 related funeral costs for deaths occurring on or after Jan. 20, 2020.

Bishop said they give the information about the service to everyone they can.

“I think these people are in shock so bad because nobody thinks it is going to happen to them,” Bishop said.

According to FEMA, to be eligible for funeral assistance, the death certificate must say the death was attributed to or caused by COVID-19.

To learn more about submitting an assistance application, click here.

FEMA has a COVID-19 funeral assistance helpline. 1-844-684-6333 (TTY: 800-462-7585) from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET, Monday – Friday and begin the application process.