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Nebraska families look to FEMA’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance for financial help

More than 2,000 families here in Nebraska qualify, and some have already applied.
More than 2,000 families here in Nebraska qualify, and some have already applied.(KOLN)
Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 9:53 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - FEMA is trying to make things a little easier for families who’ve lost someone due to COVID-19 by reimbursing their funeral expenses. More than 2,000 families here in Nebraska qualify, and some have already applied.

FEMA’s COVID-19 funeral assistance started on April 12, 2021. Ever since then, certain funeral homes have stepped in, trying to help families get the process started.

Central City resident Jody Johnson lost her dad to COVID-19 in December 2020. On April 3, 2021, her family said their last good-byes.

“It’s kind of comforting to know that they’re willing to help [because it’s] really overwhelming trying to do everything and realizing that he should still be here,” said Johnson.

On April 12, 2021, she reached out to FEMA for financial help She said the process was easier than she thought, but the hardest thing she said was getting someone on the phone. “I was the 1,500th person in line. So, it took me a little over an hour to finally get to talk to someone,” Johnson added.

Staff with Roper & Sons Funeral Home in Lincoln says they realize how much relief could actually come from providing such help.

“Knowing that they don’t have that to pay for that, they’ve already paid for that [and] they’re going to get some reimbursement funds takes that off their plate. They still have the challenge of dealing with grief and dealing with a loss,” said Dean Schneider, VP and funeral director at Roper & Sons Funeral Home.

Schneider said they’re making sure grieving families know help is out there.

“We have a hand out for families that want more information. Everything’s in print and in black-and-white, so they can know what questions to ask them and what questions are going to be asked,” Schneider told 10/11.

Johnson’s word of advice to other families reaching out is to try and have patience.

“To know that we don’t have to pay for it out of our pockets, hopefully, they can reimburse us for doing that. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen, but we’re hoping,” said Johnson.

To qualify for FEMA’s financial assistance, your loved one had to have died after January 20, 2020. You must also be able to show proof and have neccessary documents on hand. For more information, visit HERE.

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