If you are a veteran you need to know all the death benefits and burial programs that you can avail of. The government has created a set of programs for the benefit of the country’s veterans to honor the services that they have given to their country and to financially help their survivors. Since there are numerous programs for veterans, getting all the information about them is quite tricky. This article is designed to help you navigate through all the information related to these programs to help you check the benefits that you can take advantage of.
Veterans Death Benefits
The National Cemetery Administration of the Department of Veterans Affairs is the government authority that administers the burial and related memorial benefits for veterans. Majority of the veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces are eligible for these benefits. So if you are a veteran and there are no issues in your military record, you can take advantage of these programs.
- Burial in a private cemetery
If you choose to be buried in a private cemetery, you are entitled to a Presidential Memorial Certificate, a marker or a headstone, a burial flag, and military honors for free.
- Burial at a private cemetery or at a national cemetery
This benefit and privilege is not only for U.S. veterans but also for their spouses and children. You can choose to be buried at any one of the state or national cemeteries across the country. If you choose to be buried at a state or national cemetery, you and your dependents are also entitled to get markers or headstones. U.S. veterans are also eligible for burial flags, Presidential Memorial Certificates and military funeral honors for free.
If you are a US veteran, the National Cemetery Administration guarantees that a grave site will be earmarked for you in any of its 135 national cemeteries that have available space, together with services such as the opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, and all the benefits mentioned above, at no cost to your family. There are some veterans who also qualify for Burial Allowances. If you choose cremation over burial, you can still get the same benefits and honors the same as those who choose the traditional burial method.
Burial benefits for US veterans are also applicable to their spouses, children and dependents. Those who are eligible are entitled to the benefits even before the death of their relative who is a US veteran. If cremation is chosen by the veteran, he must pre-arrange the process with a funeral service provider. But any service or product obtained by the veteran from the cremation service provider shall be borne by the family. Please take note that it is the Veterans Administration which administers these burial benefits and not the US Army.
How To Schedule A Burial
If you want to schedule a burial at a designated VA national cemetery, you should do the following:
- Call 1-800-535-1117. Get ready with your choice of cemetery, the kind of religious symbol you want for the headstone or marker, the contact number of the funeral director and any other relevant information enumerated on the Schedule A Burial page, particularly Step number 2.
- Fax all the discharge documentation of the US Veteran or any member of his family to 1-866-900-6417 or email the documents to NCA Scheduling@va.gov.
Life Insurance And Survivor Benefits Of US Veterans
Life insurance is another benefit given by the government to US veterans. Those who are members of the military service are automatically enrolled in Service members Life Insurance. After you are discharged, you can buy veterans life insurance for a certain time period.
Family members, particularly the spouse and children of a US veteran who died in the service or is disabled in the line of duty are eligible for various survivor benefits and services of the Department of Veterans Affairs. They can also qualify for a healthcare program called CHAMPVA. This healthcare program is used by the VA to share the cost of healthcare supplies and services with the beneficiaries of the US veteran.
Another program for the beneficiaries of US veterans is the Survivor Benefit Plan. Most survivors of US veterans are eligible for this program.