Veterans Death Benefits

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Can I schedule or reserve a burial in a National Cemetery? How do I do this?

Yes. There are two main steps in the process. The following information is provided by the National Cemetery Administration web site. For detailed information, visit http://www.cem.va.gov/burial_benefits/need.asp.

First, you must submit documentation of eligibility to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office. You can do this by either faxing the appropriate documentation to 1-866-900-6417, or you can scan and email the documentation to NCA.Scheduling@va.gov. Acceptable forms of discharge documents may be found at http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/hmm/discharge_documents.asp.

Second, you must call the Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117 with the following information, as required by the Scheduling Office:
• Cemetery of choice
• First or subsequent burial (Veteran or dependent already buried)
• If subsequent interment, who is already interred, section and site number (if known)
• Decedent’s full name, gender, SSN, date of death, date of birth and relationship (Veteran or dependent)
• Contact Info (funeral director’s name as well as the name, address, and E-mail address of the funeral home)
• Next of kin information (name, relationship to deceased, SSN, phone number, address)
• Type of religious emblem for headstone (if known)
• Did the decedent reside within 75 miles of requested cemetery?
• ZIP code of decedent at time of death
• County of decedent at time of death
• Type of burial (casket or cremation)
• Marital status of deceased (if Veteran is buried in a private cemetery, must provide documentation of marital status of spouse at time of death)
• Casket size/liner size/urn size/urn vault size
• Is surviving spouse a Veteran?
• Any disabled children for future interment (must provide name and date of birth). If requesting immediate interment (must provide marital status, doctor’s statement stating type of
illness, date of onset of illness and capability of self-support).
• Military Honors requested

What are the eligibility requirements for the VA Hospice or Palliative Care Program?

All veterans who are enrolled in the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package are eligible, provided they meet the clinical requirements for the service. There are no co-pays for hospice care. Co-pays may be charged for palliative care.

How can I pay for long-term care if I am a veteran?

You may be able to pay for your long-term care through VA, Federal, and State programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. You may also be able to pay using private insurance, or your own personal funds.

Where can I learn more about long-term care options for veterans?

Consult the guide provided by The US Department of Veterans Affairs at http://www.va.gov/geriatrics/guide/longtermcare/ to learn about long-term care options including home and community-based services, nursing homes, residential settings, and other services and resources.

What is Dependents Indemnity Compensation (DIC)?

Dependents Indemnity Compensation is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of members of the Armed Forces who died while in the line of duty, or to eligible survivors of veterans who died from a service-related injury or disease. For more information on eligibility requirements, visit http://benefits.va.gov/COMPENSATION/types-dependency_and_indemnity.asp.

As a survivor of a deceased US Veteran, am I eligible for compensation in the month of death?

This benefit is only payable to the surviving spouses of veterans who were already receiving VA compensation or pension benefits at the time of their death. The VA may not know if a veteran has a surviving spouse. If your spouse was a veteran and was receiving VA benefits at the time of death, you can contact the VA to determine if you are eligible for payment in the month of death.

How do I confirm eligibility for VA death benefits and services?

Visit the Veterans Benefits Administration website at http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/dependents/index.htm. The site provides a full listing of available benefits and eligibility criteria.

How may my family request Military Funeral Honors?

Since the passage of the National Defense Authorization Act in 2000, every armed forces veteran and member on active duty or in the active reserve has the right to be buried with patriotic
flourishes provided by a military honor guard.

Upon the family’s request, every eligible veteran will receive a basic military funeral honors ceremony. This ceremony includes members of the military serving as pallbearers, the folding and
presentation of the United States burial flag, and the sounding of Taps, at no cost to the family. In certain instances, a rifle volley (21 gun salute) is also included in the ceremony.

To view the full US Code regarding military honors, visit http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/10/1491.

How do I request veterans’ funeral benefits through the funeral home?

You will need to provide the funeral director with a copy of your loved one’s military discharge papers, or DD 214/Separation Documents. This document is necessary to establish proof of eligibility for burial benefits. If you do not already have a copy of the discharge papers, you may go online and request them at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/.

Will the Veterans Administration provide a headstone or marker?

The VA will provide a standard headstone or grave marker at no cost to the family. For specific information on headstones and markers, visit http://www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/index.asp.

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