Out of the $6 billion in federal coronavirus relief heading to Connecticut, $41 million will be set aside to help families with funeral costs.
David MacDonald, funeral director at Wallingford and Yalesville Funeral Homes, said 2020 was a busy year for funeral homes across Connecticut.
“May and April we had back-to-back the two busiest months in 85 years of business,” said MacDonald.
At that time, they helped with services for more than 50 COVID-related deaths, said MacDonald. He is also president of the Connecticut Funeral Directors Association, which will assist the state in distributing the federal aid.
He said cremation costs start around $2,500. A full service with casket is around $13,000.
“I think the unexpected expenses will always be there when a death happens unexpectedly,” said MacDonald. “More so now, we see the surviving members of the family aren’t in the best financial situation.”
Paul Mounds, Gov. Ned Lamont’s chief of staff, said the state will also rely on the Department of Social Services for help.
“We will be working with DSS with how we can broadly get the information out once full guidance is provided to the state,” said Mounds.
This is the first time the federal government has provided this form of assistance to help with funerals.