The Federal Emergency Management Agency has distributed about $5 million to help pay for the funerals of Utahns who have died of COVID-19, the federal agency reports.
More than 1,100 Utahns have applied for FEMA’s program helping families pay for COVID-19 funerals, according to an agency media release Monday. In Idaho, more than 600 people have applied and about $2 million has been awarded so far. Nationwide, $1.146 billion in funeral aid has been approved for more than 174,000 applicants.
More than 2,900 Utahns have died with COVID-19, according to state Department of Health numbers released Monday. That puts Utah among the lowest U.S. states and territories with the lowest per-capita coronavirus deaths, with about 89 per 100,000 Utahns. Only Oregon, Maine, Alaska, Hawaii and Vermont listed lower rates.
Compared to Utah overall, Cache County has seen even lower COVID-19 mortality, with only about 48 deaths per 100,000 residents. Over the past seven days, the Bear River Health Department reported a daily average of 70 newly detected coronavirus cases in Cache County.
In Idaho, nearly 2,800 residents have died with COVID-19, meaning about 154 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 Idahoans. While Franklin County reports that only 19 residents have died with the coronavirus, its smaller population — about 14,000 residents — when compared to Cache put it at a much higher per capita rate, with about 134 deaths per 100,000 residents.
Funding or assistance arranged prior to a family member’s death isn’t eligible for reimbursement through the FEMA program, with the exception of “life insurance proceeds, death gratuities, or other forms of assistance not specifically intended to defray funeral costs.” After evaluating an applicant’s submitted documentation, FEMA may help cover a funeral’s costs incurred over the amount covered by prior arrangements.
People can apply for help paying for the funerals of family members who died of COVID-19 on or after Jan. 20, 2020, by calling 844-684-6333. More information on the program and a list of documentation needed to apply can be found at fema.gov/disaster/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance.