We understand that it’s difficult to know all of the right questions to ask. That is why our staff is fully knowledgeable of all of the benefits available to veterans and their families. We work with each family to obtain the most benefits available, as they apply to each family’s unique situation.
Some of the Veterans benefits available are granite footstones, bronze markers, and at times, various monetary death benefits.
At Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, we have a long history of serving veterans and recognize that understanding and securing burial benefits from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) can be a confusing process. To that end, we’ve outlined 10 of the most important facts you should know about VA burial benefits.
For more information, please contact us at anytime to discuss veterans services and benefits.
Typically, monetary reimbursement for funeral or cremation services is limited and restricted to the following:
Please note: the above is provided solely as a guideline. Your specific benefits can only be determined by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
A DD Form 214, a.k.a. “Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty” or “Report of Separation from Active Duty,” is the typical document required to verify military service. Colloquially, this documentation is know as “discharge papers.” For families that do not have documented discharge papers, we can assist in obtaining a DD Form 214 in order to verify military service and secure VA burial benefits.
One United States flag is provided at no cost to the next-of-kin of a veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. The flag can be used to drape the casket or accompany the urn of the deceased.
To request a U.S. flag, a VA Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purpose, must be completed. Most of the time, flags are issued by U.S. Post Offices. Regional VA offices may also be able to help obtain a flag. At Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, we are glad to help facilitate flag requests.
As mandated by law, an eligible veteran may receive Military Funeral Honors free of charge. If requested, the honor detail will include the folding and presentation of the United States flag to the next-of-kin and the playing of Taps.
On behalf of a veteran’s family, our funeral directors will work with the appropriate veterans organization to request and schedule Military Funeral Honors.
Unless death occurs while on active duty, standard policy stipulates that neither the VA nor any branch of the Armed Services provides a free casket for a deceased veteran.
Presented as an engraved paper certificate, a PMC is signed by the current President of the United States to honor the memory of honorably discharged veterans and recognize his or her service in the United States Armed Forces.
To obtain a PMC, eligible recipients or their representatives, must submit a VA Form 40-0247, Presidential Memorial Certificate Request Form (along with copies of discharge papers and death certificate) via U.S. mail or at any regional VA office. Multiple Presidential Memorial Certificates may be requested. At Robert E. Shure Funeral Home, we can help families of veterans secure this esteemed certificate.
Eligible veterans may receive a burial allowance to cover some burial costs. For deaths related to service, the maximum burial allowance is $2,000. For deaths unconnected to service, a burial allowance of up to $749 plus a plot allowance of up to $749 may be awarded.
Burial allowances are only given to the family or legal representative of veterans who have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Additionally, a minimum of one of the following conditions must be met:
In most cases, the surviving spouse of an eligible veteran is paid automatically upon notification of the veteran’s death, with no need to submit a claim. Additional benefits, such as plot/interment allowance and transportation allowance may be available if a claim is submitted. Additionally, if the burial allowance has not been automatically paid to the surviving spouse, a claim must be filed.
To file a claim, a VA Form 21P-530, Application for Burial Benefits must be submitted along with copies of discharge papers and death certificate. In some cases, copies of expense receipts may also be needed. We are glad to assist with questions concerning burial allowances and can help obtain a VA Form 21P-530.
Burial in any of the 135 VA national cemeteries is granted to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies while on active duty or any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Additionally, burial benefits are available for eligible spouses and dependents of veterans if the veteran chooses burial in a VA national cemetery.
Burial benefits include the following at no cost to the family:
Both casketed and cremated remains may be buried or inurned in VA national cemeteries and are treated with the same honors.
Please note: burial arrangements at VA national cemeteries can only be made at the time of death, not reserved in advance. Because of this and availability/location constraints for family members, veterans may choose burial in a private cemetery. Additionally, some VA cemeteries have a waiting period for burial and services are typically restricted to weekdays.
In certain cases, non-veteran parents of a veteran who was killed in combat and has no other eligible survivors may be buried in a VA national cemetery. Eligibility will be determined by the VA.
For veterans who choose burial in a private cemetery, burial benefits may include a Government headstone, marker or medallion and a burial flag at no cost to the family. Burial benefits are bestowed on eligible veterans regardless of the location of the private cemetery or the date of death. Burial benefits are not available to spouses and dependents who are buried in a private cemetery.
Headstones are upright and available in marble or granite. Markers are flat and available in marble, granite and bronze. The style of headstone or marker must be sanctioned by the private cemetery where it will be located. Additionally, niche markers made of bronze are available to mark cremated remains.
A VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker must be submitted to request a headstone or marker. We are glad to assist with Government headstone and marker requests from families that wish to obtain one.
The specific branch of the military in which the veteran served accepts requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations. Replacement medal requests from veterans or from family members with signed authorization from the veteran are typically processed at no cost. The process and cost for requests from next-of-kin varies by service branch.
Requests for the issuance or replacement of military service medals, awards and decorations must be submitted in writing to the appropriate service branch of the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC). A full list of addresses can be found on the website of the National Archives here or by calling 1-86-NARA-NARA (1-866-272-6272).
We are glad to answer any questions concerning military service medals, awards and decorations and can assist with in-writing requests.
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Robert E. Shure Funeral Home is the only strictly Jewish Funeral Home in the Greater New Haven area.