May 5, 2022 Kristin Hutchins

The Today Show Interviews Funeralocity CEO

May 5, 2022, National – Consumer advocate Ed Michael Reggie, the founder of, was recently interviewed by the Today Show about the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance fund. As the United States passes the one million mark of COVID-19 deaths, the program aims to help families cover the cost of a funeral for someone who has died of COVID-19. The fund offers up to $9,000 and has no end date, covering deaths attributed to the virus as far back as January 2020.

Despite being eligible, less than half of the people believed to be eligible for the program had applied for it as of April 2022. Reggie noted that the up-to-$9,000 payment can make a significant impact since the average funeral in the United States costs around $8,000.

To apply for funeral assistance, applicants must call (844) 684-6333, where FEMA representatives will take their call. The application must be completed over the phone, and the process takes about 20 minutes. The applicant will also have to submit supporting documents, including any relevant receipts, a death certificate listing the coronavirus as a cause of death, and any other necessary paperwork, like funeral home contracts or invoices.

After the paperwork is received, it takes FEMA “approximately 45 days to make an eligibility decision.” Families who had multiple deaths due to the coronavirus can also apply. One family can receive up to $35,000 across multiple funerals.

After an application is approved, funds will either be deposited into a bank account or sent by mail via check, usually arriving within a few days of approval. Reggie warned that people should be aware that all contact will be direct through FEMA, not a funeral home or other party. While there have been no reports of scammers trying to use the program to get funds dispersed to themselves, Reggie said that people should be cautious.

The FEMA Funeral Assistance program is part of the American Rescue Plan, a stimulus package passed in 2021 to help the country financially manage amid the pandemic. “We wanted to offer funds for people to be able to provide a proper burial for their loved ones,” said Jaclyn Rothenberg, the director of public affairs for FEMA. Reggie noted that he has seen the program bring families some peace during these difficult times.

As our nation continues to mourn the impact of the pandemic, the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance fund provides families with an option for financial relief during an already difficult time. was a Future Factory startup.