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The High Cost Of Dying

Reggie Elliott, a funeral transporter, writes on the side of a box before depositing the remains of a COVID-19 victim at Maryland Cremation Services in Millersville, Maryland on December 24, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Reggie Elliott, a funeral transporter, writes on the side of a box before depositing the remains of a COVID-19 victim at Maryland Cremation Services in Millersville, Maryland on December 24, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says it will pay up to $9,000 to cover the funeral costs of every American who died of COVID-19.   

It’s the largest program of its kind ever offered by the federal government, according to The Washington Post. FEMA has reimbursed burial costs before, but not on this scale. You can find where to apply for this assistance here.

It’s open to everyone, regardless of income. Rep. Alexandria Ocasico-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y are vocal proponents of the program.

We last spoke to guest Philip Olson during our conversation about green death. Find that show here.

What effect could cost assistance have on Americans’ attitudes towards death care more broadly?  

Copyright 2021 WAMU 88.5

Rupert Allman

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