LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – The federal agency FEMA announced yesterday that if you paid for the funeral of someone who died from COVID-19, you can get up to $9,000.

The agency said they will help pay for COVID-19 related funeral cost dating back to January 20, and a local funeral home director says they will point people in the right direction.

“FEMA is going to be requiring certain documents,” said John Banas, the general manager at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Homes on Michigan Avenue in Lansing. “A death certificate, an invoice, a copy of the contract that shows the purchaser’s signature, we’re all set to begin to educate our families how to apply.”

Banas said they’ve had over 100 families come in with covid related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

“It’s certainly something that we signed up for,” Banas said. We signed up to help people in the most difficult times.”

Banas said the average price of a funeral is around $9,000.

Fema released a statement to 6 News saying:

“We understand the financial and emotional turmoil COVID-19 has brought to our Nation, and we are committed to bringing Funeral Assistance to the American people as quickly as possible. The loss due to this pandemic has brought overwhelming grief to so many American families. At FEMA, our mission is to help Americans before, during and after disasters…and while we cannot change the outcome of what has happened, we are honored and dedicated to help ease some of the financial stress and burden that this terrible virus has created.”

For Banas, the hardest part has been not being able to be there for people when they need it the most.

“We’re huggers, and we’re handshakers,” Banas said. “That’s been very difficult to not have to or not be able to do that.”

Lansing funeral home to help people claim $9K from FEMA for COVID-19 related deaths