Get the Facts about Veterans’ Burial Benefits

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is proud to serve the military veterans in our community. The funeral benefits available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are many and varied, but they can also be confusing.

To help you and your family members fully understand the benefits the VA may entitle you to, we have compiled the following list of essential facts.

Documentation is required to verify military service.

A “Report of Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States," also known as "discharge papers" or the “DD214” report, must first be submitted to verify military service and determine eligibility for veterans’ burial benefits. Your funeral director can assist you in securing this documentation.

The option to receive a military funeral honors ceremony is required by law.

Upon the family's request, every eligible veteran is entitled to receive military funeral honors at no cost. This ceremony, which includes the folding and presentation of the United States flag, the playing of "Taps," a rifle volley, and an honors detail with at least two military personnel, must be scheduled in advance.  Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services works with various veterans organizations to assist in the provision of military funeral honors.

VA benefits do not cover all funeral or cremation expenses.

Numerous monetary, recognition, and service benefits may be available for honorably discharged military veterans. However, reimbursement for funeral or cremation service expenses is limited and generally only applies to veterans who: retire from the Armed Services; were disabled due to a service-related injury; or who passed away in a VA hospital or nursing home under VA contract.

Eligibility requirements exist for burial in a VA national cemetery.

Any member of the United States Armed Forces who die while on active duty or any veteran discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is entitled to burial in a VA national cemetery. This benefit includes:

  • An assigned gravesite (if space is available)
  • Opening and closing of the grave
  • A grave liner for casketed remains
  • A government headstone or marker
  • Perpetual care at no cost to the family

Cremated remains are buried or inurned in VA national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains. It is important to note that VA national cemeteries only allow arrangements to be made at the time of death and cannot be made in advance. Therefore, there is no guarantee that spouses or other family members will be buried side by side.

Headstones or markers for a burial space in private cemeteries are available.

Upon request, the VA will furnish a government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world. Any deceased Veteran who was discharged from the U.S. armed forces under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for this benefit, and it is provided at no charge to the applicant. Upright headstones, flat grave markers, and niche plaques for cremated remains can be provided. For assistance in securing, completing, and submitting the required documentation, please reach out to your funeral director.

A Presidential Memorial Certificate can also be requested.

This military honors program was initiated in 1962 by then-President John F. Kennedy. The Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is a gold-embossed paper certificate that bears the current U.S. President's signature and honors the memory of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include the next of kin and loved ones of honorably discharged veterans. Your funeral director can assist your family in obtaining this certificate.

Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services is committed to ensuring that your loved one receives the distinguished military honors he or she so richly deserves. If you have questions or require assistance with arrangements, please contact our caring professionals.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to deliver our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients' legacies for future generations. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Family Conflict at the Funeral? Follow These Five Steps to Keep the Peace

They say weddings and funerals often bring out the best and the worst in people. Those who have recently lost a loved one may experience a wide range of emotions such as sadness, anger, and guilt...

Eight Simple Steps for Writing and Delivering a Memorable Eulogy

If you are delivering the eulogy for a loved one, we are here to help. It may feel like an overwhelming task, and you may be unsure about the process but sharing a loving tribute to the departed ...

Get to Know These Seven Common Mistakes Men Make with Their Health

Men are famous for refusing to ask for directions. Unfortunately, they are also known for neglecting their health. That inattention can lead to serious consequences down the road. Here are seven ...

Selecting a Funeral Celebrant: Six Things You Need to Know

The importance of selecting the right funeral celebrant for your loved one’s final farewell cannot be overestimated. During this moving occasion, their life story is told, their memory is honored...

Choosing a Funeral Home: Avoid These Five Costly Mistakes

The search for a funeral home often begins when a loved one passes away. But selecting the right funeral provider may be easier said than done since there are so many funeral homes to choose from...

Live Longer and Healthier with These Seven Smart and Easy Strategies

Most of us hope to live a long, happy life. Fortunately, the last decade has ushered in a wealth of information about the biology of aging. While the Fountain of Youth may still only exist in leg...

Choosing a Cemetery Property: Six Essential Questions You Need to Consider

If you have been tasked with choosing a cemetery property, you may be unsure about where to begin. Many options exist and no two properties are exactly alike, so it’s wise to enter the process as...

Buying a Cremation Urn? Five Things You Need to Know

When it comes to cremation urns, there are thousands of styles, sizes, and options available. It can seem overwhelming and you might wonder where to begin the selection process. In this article, w...

Seven Practical Strategies that Can Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

Stroke is the fifth leading cause of death in the U.S. and it is more prevalent among African Americans than among other races. A stroke occurs when the blood supply to part of the brain is inter...

Funeral or Celebration of Life: How to Decide What’s Right for Your Loved One

When a loved one passes away, it is important to honor their life with a memorable final goodbye. In the past, society has turned to funeral services based on religious or cultural traditions to ...