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Veterans Benefits

Simplify the Process

Burial Benefits For U.S Veteran

The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Veterans benefits correctly so that prompt payments and benefits may be claimed.

(ezCremate will help claim the Burial Flag benefit and Certified VA Death Certificate benefit with a copy off the DD214 and provide any local resources if needed)

Eligibility

VETERANS

Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who dies on active duty or was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and has completed the required period of service is automatically eligible. Department of Veterans Affairs has the primary responsibility for verifying eligibility: va.gov or (800) 827-1000.



SPOUSES

The surviving spouse of an eligible veteran is also eligible with certain restrictions on subsequent marriages. Call the number above or visit the following website at cem.va.gov



CHILDREN

Unmarried, minor children who are under the age of 21 (age is extended to 23 for children enrolled in an approved educational institution) and of an eligible veteran or active duty member of the armed forces are eligible. An adult child who is incapable of self-support due to permanent disability sustained prior to reaching age 21 may also be eligible.



BURIAL AT SEA

Eligibility for this benefit extends to active duty members, veterans discharged under honorable conditions, U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Miltary Sealift Command and dependents, family members of active duty personnel, retirees and veterans of the uniformed services.



REIMBURSEMENT

This applies to all veterans who died due to a service-related disability, at the time of death were in receipt of VA pension or compensation, or were entitled to receive VA pension or compensation but decided not to reduce their miltary retirement or disability pay. Also ifthe veteran died in a VA hospital or while in a nursing home under VA contract they are eligible. Claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.

Benefits

FREE BURIAL

Veterans. service members, spouses and eligible dependents may be buried in national and state cemeteries, This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, marker, government grave liner and perpetual care. There may be a minimal charge for the interment of a veteran's eligible immediate family member for the opening and closing of the grave, Many national and state cemeteries have special arrangements for cremated remains as well. These arrangements are coordinated through your funeral professional.



FREE HEADSTONES AND MARKERS

Upon request, Veterans Affairs (VA) provides, at no charge, a headstone or marker to eligible veteras who are buried in national, state veteran, military post/base or private cemeteries around the world. The markers and headstores are also provided for eligible spouses and dependents, except when buried in a private cemetery. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Nice markers are available to mark columbaria used for cremated remains.



MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS

Upon request, the Department of Defense will provide mlitary funeral honors for the burial of military members and eligible veterans. The basic ceremony consist of the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of Taps by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording. Family members should inform their funeral director if they desire military funeral honors for a veteran.



FREE PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE

An engraved paper certificate with the veteran's name, signed by the current President is issued to next-of-kin to express the nations's recognition of the veteran's service and honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans.



REIMBURSEMENT OF BURIAL EXPENSE

Service-Connected Death
The maximum service-connnected burial allowance is $2,000. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA may reimburse some or all of the cost transporting the deceased veteran's remain.

Non-Service-Connected Death
The VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $745 for a plot. There are higher non-service-connected death rates payable if the veteran was hospitalized by the VA when he or she died.



FREE BURIAL AT SEA

This is a means of final disposition of remains that is performed on United States Navy vessels.

The committal ceremony is performed while the ship is deployed; therefore, family members are not allowed to be present. Active duty members, retirees, veterans (who were honorably discharged), U.S. civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command and dependent family members of active duty personnel, are eligible for this ceremony at the following embarkation ports:

  • Norfolk,VA
  • Jacksonville, FL
  • Corpus Christi, TX
  • San Diego, CA
  • Bremerton, WA
  • Honolulu, HI

Applying For Benefits


You must apply in order to receive your benefits. You may verify eligibility online at www.VA.Gov or by telephone at (800) 827-1000

VETERANS BURIAL BENEFITS

Information you need to make available prior to filing for benefits:

  • Proof of the veteran's military service (DD214) (ie. enlisted record of separation, discharge documents, or retirements orders)
  • Certified copy of Death Certificate
  • Certified copy of original Marriage Certificate
  • Copies of paid funeral, burial, and cemetery receipts
  • Copies of paid hospital and doctor bills incurred by last illness, if applicable
  • Verification of amount of life insurance you will receive as a result of veteran's death
  • Social Security number of veteran's spouse or dependents, if applicable

When you are ready to file for burial benefits, contact your local Veterans Affairs office by calling (800) 827-1000


Note: Do not send orginal documents, as they are not returned.



OTHER DOCUMENTATION MAY APPLY TO YOU
  • Previous Marriage: If you or the veteran were previously married, you will also need a certified copy of Divorce Decree pr a Death Certificate to prove the previous or subsequent marriage was dissolved by divorce or death.
  • Dependent Children: You need a certified copy of Birth Certificates for all children under 18. For children over 18 and still in school up to age 23, you need a Birth Certificate and a copy of VA Form 21-674.
  • Social Security: If either of you currently receive Social Security benefits, you will need to know the exact amount received for each of you.
  • VA claim number: If you already have a VA claim number, you must furnish that number to the VA.

Note: If you qualify for Social Security benefits, go to the Social Security office or the website, before going to the Veterans Administration Office. (ssa.gov)



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