WBZ-TV's Bill Shields reports.
PAULA ABBOTT: FEMA is now helping families who lost loved ones to COVID-19 with their funeral expenses. I'm Paula Abbott.
DAVID WADE: And I'm David Wade. More than 17,000 people in Massachusetts died from the virus, and some people lost more than one family member. As WBZ's Bill Shields shows us, money from the government could be a huge help.
BILL SHIELDS: In March, Connie Medeiros lost her father then her husband to COVID, one week apart. The funeral cause for her husband Kaine were over $10,000. She still has to find the money for his headstone.
CONNIE MEDEIROS: And I'm not working right now. You know, my work's been great letting me not come in, but I'm not getting paid, so this will help a lot if I can get it.
BILL SHIELDS: Now FEMA is reimbursing families who lost loved ones to COVID $9,000 for each funeral.
GREG BELCHER: This is a tremendous burden off the families that can get some money back for themselves.
BILL SHIELDS: Greg Belcher's family has run the Waitt Funeral Chapel in Brockton since 1950, and this year he's dealt with too many COVID victims to count. Now, he sees a small measure of relief for those families.
GREG BELCHER: Most of the paperwork is already in the hands of the families, but if there's any guidance, they can call us, and we'll direct them to the right, you know, numbers and the right avenues to get them-- to help them get their money.
BILL SHIELDS: Even though Connie Medeiros was having a hard time getting through to FEMA today, she loves the idea of reimbursements.
CONNIE MEDEIROS: I thought it was great. I thought that it would help a lot of families out, especially it's so unexpected that this happens, so I think it would be great.
BILL SHIELDS: If you're having trouble getting answers from FEMA, or even getting in touch with FEMA, you might try calling the funeral home you were dealing with. They might be able to provide the answers. In Brockton, I'm Bill Shields, WBZ News.