will pay a burial allowance up to $1,500 if the veteran's
death is service connected. VA also will pay the cost of
transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran
to the national cemetery nearest the home of a deceased
that has available gravesites. In such cases, the person
who bore the veteran's burial expenses may claim reimbursement
from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense
allowance for veterans who, at time of death, were entitled
to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled
to compensation but for receipt of military retirement
pay. Eligibility also is established when death occurs
in a VA facility or a nursing home with which VA contracted.
Additional costs of transportation of the remains may be
reimbursed. There is no time limit for filing reimbursement
claims of service-connected deaths. In other deaths, claims
must be filed within two years after permanent burial or
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried
in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran
is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or
aggravated in line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation
or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for
receipt of military retired pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized
by VA. The plot allowance is not payable solely on wartime service.
If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or
interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials,
the $300 plot allowance may be paid to the state. Burial expenses
paid by the deceased's employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed.
VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and
to a person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service,
the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate. VA
also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing
in action and later presumed dead. Flags are issued at VA regional
offices, national cemeteries, and post offices.
Burial in National Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite,
opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national
cemeteries have columbaria for the internment of cremated remains
or special grave sites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones
and markers and their placement are provided at the government's
Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are eligible
for burial in one of VA's 114 national cemeteries. An eligible veteran
must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable
or general conditions and have completed the required period of service.
Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable
service with a reserve component are eligible. A U.S. citizen who
served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United
States in a war also may be eligible.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces
members also may be buried in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse
of an eligible veteran who married a non veteran, and whose remarriage
was terminated by death or divorce, is eligible for burial in a national
Grave sites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors
or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death.
Reservations made under previous programs are honored. The National
Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends. A
weekend caller, however, will be directed to one of three strategically
located VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule
burials at the cemetery of the caller's choice during the following
Headstones and Markers
VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans
anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried
in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright
marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent
with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark
columbaria used for internment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased,
the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items
that also may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank
or rate; war service such as World War II; months and days of birth
and death; an emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and
the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery,
the headstone marker is ordered through the cemetery, inscription,
shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national, military
post or state veterans cemetery, the headstone marker must be applied
for from VA. It is shipped at government expense. VA, however, does
not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.
To apply, you must complete VA form 40-1330 and forward it to Director,
Office of Memorial Programs (403A), National Cemetery System, Department
of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Forms and assistance are
available at VA application you may call the Director, Office of
Memorial Programs at 1-800-697-6947.
VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried
in a private cemetery. Twenty year reservists without active duty
service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if they are entitled
to military retired pay at the time of death.
Headstones or Markers for Memorial Plots
To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available
for burial, VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national
cemetery. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify
a grave except that the mandatory phrase "In Memory of" precedes
the authorized inscription. The headstone or marker is available
to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased active-duty members
whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea,
donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker
may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national
cemetery. In such a case, VA supplies the marker and pays the cost
of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the
marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for
Presidential Memorial Certificates
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate
with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation's recognition
of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the
certificate bears the signature of the President.
Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased
veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives
and friends. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient
does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The
veteran may have died at any time in the past. The local VA regional
office generally originates the application for a Presidential Memorial
Certificate. The next of kin also may request a certificate. Requests
should be accompanied by a copy of a document such as a discharge
to establish honorable service. VA regional offices can assist in
applying for certificates.
following checklist is designed to help you file for your
Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments
may be made.
The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security,
ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at
WHO MAY RECEIVE MONTHLY BENEFITS
widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or
at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under
16 or disabled.
divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled)
if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an
entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary
or secondary school full lime).
who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they
parent or parents 62 or older.
A one time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash
benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid
in the following priority order:
surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the
deceased person at the time of death.
surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits
for the month of death.
child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits
for the month of death.
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social
Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial
the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule
an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office
to take your claim by telephone.
SECURITY TELESERVICE - DOING BUSINESS BY TELEPHONE
You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a
day. The number to use is 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative,
call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days.
At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message
and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.
may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either
in a Social Security office or telephone to apply for benefits.
the Social Security Administration Web site Click
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