Families of Utahns who died from COVID-19 receive $13.4 million in federal funeral assistance
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the State of Utah received $13.4 million in federal aid to assist individuals and families with COVID-19-related funeral costs.
Since FEMA launched the COVID-19 funeral assistance program in April of 2021, Utahns submitted 2,448 applications, 1,978 of which were approved. The funds will support funeral expenses for those who lost loved ones to COVID-19 on or after Jan. 20th, 2020.
The program was created to provide up to $9,000 in financial assistance for funeral services such as cremation, caskets or urns, burial plots, the transfer of remains, and markers or headstones.
In 2021, funeral costs in Utah, including viewing, ceremony, and burial costs, averaged about $7,000, according to the National Funeral Directors Association.
According to the Utah Department of Health and Human Services, 4,940 total Utahns have died from COVID-19 as of last week. COVID-19 is the fourth leading cause of death among Utahns, after heart disease, cancer, and accidents.
There were 274 hospitalizations throughout the state, 16 new deaths, and 44 ICU patients with 75.5% bed occupancy at the time of the FEMA data release.