Everything You Need to Know About Veteran Burial Benefits

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Everything You Need to Know About Veteran Burial Benefits

Veterans qualify for a range of burial and cremation benefits that vary depending on their circumstances and the nature of their service. These benefits typically need to be applied for, which makes it important to be aware of which benefits are available to you or your loved one.

Our staff can help you discover which benefits you are eligible for. We can also help submit applications and properly document the service to ensure access to these benefits. Read on to learn about the different benefits that are offered to those who have served.

Eligibility for U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs Benefits

The U.S. Department of Veterans' Affairs provides certain funeral benefits to honorably-discharged veterans (and some benefits to those who were discharged with any status other than dishonorable). These benefits do not, however, cover the full costs of final arrangements. Reimbursement for a funeral or memorial services is partial and applies in specific situations, typically to those who retired from service, were disabled while in action or passed away in a VA facility. It's important to consult the VA guidelines and to contact the VA to acquire a ruling on eligibility.

Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery

Armed Forces members who die while on active duty and veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable are eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery. Subject to space availability and other circumstances, non-veteran parents, spouses and minor children of a deceased veteran may also be eligible for this. Burial in a National Cemetery includes perpetual care at no cost to the family, among other benefits.

Burial Flag & Presidential Memorial Certificate

The military provides a burial flag at no charge to be draped over the casket as part of final arrangements. An appropriate VA form needs to be filled out to apply for this, and the flag is obtained from a VA regional office or Post Office. The families of eligible veterans may also apply for a Presidential Memorial Certificate that commemorates their loved one's service to the nation and carries the current President's signature. A funeral provider can carry out the process of application at the family's request.

Funeral Honors Ceremony

At the family's request, every eligible veteran is entitled by law to funeral honors including a Flag Folding Ceremony and the playing of Taps. Further honors may be available depending upon the deceased's service and the circumstances of their death. A funeral director needs to put in a request to the Department of Defense for some of these memorials.

Caskets and Urns

Veteran's caskets or urns are free only if the veteran in question died on active duty. In other circumstances, you will need to consult with your provider to purchase a casket or urn. Most providers do offer substantial discounts to veterans' families.

Headstones, Markers or Medallions

A standard government headstone or marker or a bronze medallion honoring a vet's service is available at no cost for any deceased veteran discharged with a status other than dishonorable. The VA furnishes these upon request. Standing headstones are available in marble or granite, and flat markers are provided in granite, marble or bronze. A bronze medallion in various sizes is available to be affixed to any previously-purchased headstone or marker, though the cost of affixing the medallion is not covered.

All County Funeral Home & Crematory offers guidance and support in securing funeral benefits for veterans. To learn more about veteran benefits please contact us online or by phone at (561) 533-8878. 

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