Five Common Questions (And Answers) About Veterans Burial Benefits

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Sunday, July 14, 2019

Funerals, memorials and celebrations of life offer opportunities to honor and recognize a service member’s heroism and contributions. Whether you’re making final arrangements for a deceased veteran or are a veteran making your own funeral arrangements, this article will help you to determine which of the many benefits to which you may be entitled.

From burial allowances to 21-gun salutes, military service members and their families have a lot more options that you may realize. Here are five frequently asked questions about veteran’s burial benefits:

1.     What documentation is required to verify military service? A “Report of Separation from the Armed Forces of the United States” (discharge papers) is required to verify military service. This report, also known as the DD214, or its equivalent must be submitted to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). If this report isn’t available, a Standard Form 180 can be sent to the Military National Personnel Record Center. A copy of the Report of Separation will then mailed to the veteran, deceased veteran’s next of kin, or other persons or organizations that are authorized to receive it. Your funeral director will be happy to assist you with securing, competing and submitting all required forms.

2.     What are military funeral honors? All active service members and veterans who did not receive a dishonorable discharge are entitled to free military funeral honors. The ceremony involves draping an American flag over the casket or beside the urn and the playing of Taps by a lone bugler or a recording. After Taps is played, two uniformed military personnel honor the veteran by folding the flag and presenting it to the next of kin. A rifle volley, also known as a 21-gun salute, may also be requested.

3.     What type of reimbursement or allowance does the VA provide for funeral expenses? The VA offers an allowance to cover a portion of funeral and burial/cremation costs. If a veteran dies due to a service-connected cause, the family of a veteran may be eligible for an allowance of up to $2,000. For a non-service-connected death, the VA will pay a smaller specified amount to the family. Interment, burial/cremation and funeral allowance amounts are dependent on a number of factors, including the date of death and whether or not the veteran was under VA hospital care at the time.  For the most updated information, please review the Veterans Affairs fact sheet.

4.     Are veterans required to be buried in a National Cemetery? Veterans and active duty military are free to be laid to rest in any cemetery of their choosing, not just a military-specific burial place. In the U.S., there are 135 National Cemeteries located in 40 states. Veterans who were discharged in any way but dishonorable, active duty military personnel, spouses, and their children may all be laid to rest in one of these cemeteries. Burial in a National Cemetery requires specific documentation regarding the deceased’s discharge, branch and service. When submitting the paperwork to the VA, you can express your preference for a specific National Cemetery, but there’s no guarantee of availability in that location.

5.     Who’s eligible to receive a headstone or grave marker? Even if your veteran loved one is being buried in a private cemetery, the VA can furnish a veteran’s headstone or grave marker at no cost. Headstones and markers are available in bronze, granite, or marble. If you choose to purchase your own headstone or marker, you can request a free bronze medallion to affix to it. These medallions are inscribed with the word “Veteran” at the top and include the individual’s branch of service at the bottom.

At Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services, we value the many sacrifices our veterans and their families have made in order to preserve our freedom. With decades of experience planning funerals for thousands of service members, we are experts in making sure the veterans in our care receive the deeply respectful, dignified funeral honors they deserve. If you need assistance planning a military funeral for a loved one, please reach out to our caring, attentive staff. It’s always our pleasure to serve you.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving  three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. 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 three convenient locations serving both North and West Philadelphia, as well as Trenton and Drexel Hill, 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

Follow these Funeral Planning Tips to Make Your Time of Need Easier

Losing a loved one is undeniably difficult. If you are also responsible for making the funeral arrangements at this challenging time, it can feel overwhelming. Numerous decisions must be made qui...

Living with Loss: Do You Know What to Expect After the Funeral?

It takes time to adjust to the loss of a loved one. Once the funeral is over, you may feel as if you're left without any type of road map. Just as your funeral provider and funeral director guide...

Five Helpful New Year’s Resolutions for the Bereaved

On January 1, the New Year rolls around whether or not we are ready for it. If you are adjusting to life without a loved one, you may feel as if you want to skip making New Year’s resolutions. Howe...

The Must-Have Guide to Parenting through Grief

There’s nothing quite like the journey through loss. It can trigger an onslaught of emotions that impact the ability to parent with a level head. Profound sadness and stress may diminish patience...

Do You Know the Most Important Financial Actions to Take When a Loved One Passes Away?

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is undeniably stressful. Trying to determine how to handle their finances and legal obligations can put an additional burden on you and your family at a difficu...

Siblings and Grief: Five Ways to Heal After Loss

They are our first playmates, rivals, and friends. Siblings enjoy a unique relationship that cannot be duplicated. Losing a sibling can be devastating yet this grief is often overshadowed in our ...

Grieving a Loved One During Thanksgiving? Try These Six Tips for Healing

Thanksgiving is a time to show gratitude for our many blessings. But for the bereaved, holidays can arouse feelings of grief even if the loss was some time ago. If you find yourself feeling down ...

Get the Facts about Veterans’ Burial Benefits

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...

Affordable, Creative Ways to Personalize a Funeral Service

When grieving, you want to focus on personalization, not expenses.   You may worry that you’ll need to spend more than you’ve budgeted in order to properly honor your loved one. The good news...

How to Have a Safe Celebration of Life: Creative Ways to Honor Your Loved One

You want to honor your loved one during this time of physical separation, but how can you do it safely? A celebration of life, also known as a remembrance celebration, is a memorial service that ...