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Few eligible families have applied for government help to pay for COVID funerals

Blake Farmer, Nashville Public Radio, Kaiser Health News on

Published in Health & Fitness

FEMA is launching an outreach campaign to promote the program. The agency is focusing on the populous states of California, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas, and targeting vulnerable populations.

The government is also leaning on community groups connected to those who most need to know about the money.

COVID Survivors for Change, founded by Chris Kocher, has been helping people navigate the process, including through a Facebook webinar.

“We were able to connect people to some of the survivors that had been through that process already just to help them walk through it,” Kocher said.

Many just need someone to complete the application for them.

Stephanie Smith of Carlisle, Kentucky, lost her father to COVID. Her mother, who was 83 at the time, had no chance of filing an application. At a minimum, applying requires scanning or faxing.

 

“She’s a very smart, spunky lady, but she’s never used a computer,” Smith said.

Smith was able to jump through the hoops without much trouble. And $9,000, she said, is enough to make life considerably easier as her mom adjusts to being a COVID widow.

“She probably would not have attempted to do it because the whole process would have been overwhelming for her,” she said.

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This story is part of a partnership that includes Nashville Public Radio, NPR, and KHN.

©2022 Kaiser Health News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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