Veterans are men and women who deserve respectful end of life services that honor their military service. That’s why veterans’ burial benefits exist. They are special benefits that go towards funeral services for veterans regardless of when and how they pass away. The benefits ease the burden for family members that want to honor their loved one with burial or cremation services.
Here are five things you need to know about veterans burial benefits if you’re part of a military family.
#1 – There Are Standard and Special Veterans Burial Benefits
Every veteran who is honorably discharged is eligible to receive the standard burial benefits. These include:
- A US burial flag
- A burial plot or cremation niche at a national cemetery free of charge
- Burial at a national cemetery
- A vault or outer container at a national cemetery
- A grave marker (regardless of burial location)
- Military burial with honor guard
- Presidential memorial certificate
Under some special circumstances other veterans’ burial benefits may be available. Any veteran that dies as a result of service-related injuries is entitled to $2,000 for funeral or cremation expenses and $300 for transport to a private cemetery. Transport to a national cemetery is usually free of charge.
Veterans that pass away at a VA hospital are eligible to receive $744-$1,488 for end of life expenses. Veterans who received a pension or VA disability will receive $300 burial allowance and $734-$893 for a plot.
#2 – Benefits Don’t Cover All Funeral Expenses
While veterans burial benefits do cover a lot of funeral expenses it doesn’t take care of all the costs. This is definitely the case if you choose to bury a loved one in a private cemetery. Things the family will need to pay for include:
- Plot or niche at a private cemetery
- Buying or renting a casket
- Urn or cremains receptacle
- Funeral home expenses
- Cremation expenses
- Memorial and viewing expenses
The only time that all funeral expenses are covered, including the expenses above, is when a servicemember dies during active duty.
#3 – Veteran Burial Benefits Aren’t Just for Former Military Members
Veterans burial benefits are meant to ease the burden for military familIes, which is why the benefits can extend to others. The spouse and dependent children of a veteran also receive benefits for funeral services.
#4 – You’ll Need a DD214 to Get Veterans Burial Benefits
In order to qualify for veteran burial benefits you must verify your loved one’s military service and honorable discharge. You can do that by submitting their DD214. The DD214 is a veteran’s discharge papers. It notes when a person began military service and when they separated from the military.
You’ll also need the death certificate to prove when and where your loved one passed away.
#5 – VA Burial Benefit Scams Exist
Veterans and their family members have to be very wary of scammers that are out to take advantage of people they know are set to receive benefits. Information about benefits will only come from the Veterans Association. And the VA will never try to sell you products or funeral services. If you are approached by someone claiming to be with the VA who does so, report them to the Veterans Association.
At Direct Cremate we’re honored to help military families arrange cremation services for a veteran. We’ll handle the process with the utmost care and help you procure a burial flag with the USPS. Call or text today if you have questions about cremation for veterans.