BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - With more than 550,000 COVID-19 deaths in the US - and nearly 7,000 right here in Mississippi - the government is stepping in to help the families of those who died from the coronavirus.
With the help of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021, FEMA is stepping in to help families caught off guard by the pandemic.
Bradford O’Keefe Funeral Homes President Jeffrey O’Keefe, Jr. says it’s the right thing to do.
“Only 20 percent of Americans even tell their family what their final wishes are,” said O’Keefe. “Even less than that actually go ahead and plan their funerals and fund it. So for those that did not have burial and funeral insurance, this FEMA assistance is going to help them kind of curb that financial burden.”
It’s a burden that could range from $2,000 to $3,000, up to $10,000 or $12,000.
O’Keefe is updating the funeral home website with this new information but says, ultimately, it will be up to the family to seek out this assistance.
“From a procedural standpoint, it would be the family to contact FEMA directly. When FEMA begins paying out in April, it would be through a direct deposit to the family or they will mail them a physical check,” he said.
Like many across the country and in Mississippi, O’Keefe says his team is ready to do everything possible to help South Mississippians navigate this difficult time.
For more information on eligibility requirements, and qualifiers as to who can be reimbursed expenses through the FEMA program, visit the FEMA site by clicking here.