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Families start receiving FEMA funds for funerals related to COVID-19

The federal government said they want to help people deal with funeral expenses as far back as January 2020.

PARKER, Colorado — Planning for the end is never easy, especially when it's unexpected. 

Peggy Campbell found that out last year when her father Thomas Murray died from COVID-19.

"He was a great gardener and a great pilot and a great dad," Campbell said. "He gave us great life."

The 90-year-old man served in the U.S. Army. He married his high school sweetheart. Last year, he was living at an assisted living facility in Aurora when Campbell said he tested positive for COVID-19 and died five days later.

"He passed away Easter Sunday," Campbell said.

Campbell took care of the funeral expenses for her and her siblings.

"We had something very just very, very small. He was buried with military honors and that was lovely," Campbell said. "The closure was never there and I don't know that it ever will be."

There may not be be closure, but there is help. FEMA is offering financial funeral assistance to families who lost someone to COVID-19. The program covers costs up $9,000 per funeral. Applicants must have a death certificate, documents on funeral expenses, and proof of other payments like funeral insurance.

RELATED: FEMA aims to start COVID funeral reimbursement program in early April

RELATED: FEMA now accepting applications to cover funeral expenses for COVID victims. Apply here

"I think it's great because I think a number of people were blindsided by these overwhelming expenses," Campbell said.

She said the process of applying was a little rough at first with issues sending documents and getting qualified, but she encouraged others to apply.

RELATED: Many Coloradans still waiting for COVID-19 funeral aid from federal government

Campbell got her check last week. She said she plans to send the money to her siblings to help cover their expenses.

"I'm not made of money," Campbell said. "They're not made of money. It wasn't a lot of money where I know lot of people put up much more than we did."

Campbell said it's not about the money, it's about the relief in dealing with something unexpected.

"Overall, it's very helpful," Campbell said. "Use it to refund yourselves and in some cases very expensive refunds for something that you weren’t expecting."

If you want to find out more about FEMA's funeral assistance program, click here.