AUSTIN (NBC News) — A federal program designed to help cover the funeral costs for people who died from COVID-19 is going largely untapped.

According to report by the Associated Press, families who’ve lost loved ones can apply to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for a reimbursement of up to $9,000 to help cover funeral expenses.

FEMA has already paid out $1.5 billion in funeral reimbursements to 226,000 people since January 2020, however, the U.S. just surpassed 800,000 COVID-19-related deaths.

This suggests hundreds of thousands of families who may be eligible have not yet taken advantage of the benefit. Visit to learn more about eligibility and to apply.