Veterans Funeral Services and Cremation Veterans in the Boston, and also greater Massachusetts, area can benefit from the following in conjunction with veteran cremation or burial services.
Veterans who have been discharged or separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable discharge after the required period of service are eligible for veterans funeral services and veteran cremation services. U.S. Armed Forces members who lose their lives while on active duty and spouses and dependent children of eligible veterans are also eligible. To learn more, contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000.
How do you apply for veterans funeral benefits?
Veterans cremation and funeral benefits are not paid automatically upon death. Rather, those mourning the loss of a veteran must contact the Veterans Administration with the following information: ? Social Security number for yourself and your dependent children ? Certified copy of original DD124 (Enlisted Record and Report of Separation) ? Certified copy of Death Certificate ? Verification of the life insurance amount you will receive as a result of the veterans death ? Paid receipts for hospital and doctor bills incurred by last illness, if applicable ? Paid receipts for funeral and cemetery expenses ? If either yourself or the veteran was previously married, provide a certified copy of the original divorce decree or death certificate proving the previous marriage was dissolved by divorce or death ? If there are dependent children, you will need an original birth certificate for each child under 18 or over 18 if full-time student ? If over 18 and still in school, you will need to fill out VA Form 21-674 ? If you or the veteran receive Social Security Benefits, the exact amount must be reported ? If you already have a VA claim number, you must furnish the claim number you have been assigned ? If you or the veteran receive additional income, the source and exact amount must be reported
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses for Veterans
When a service member’s death is related to his or her service, the VA will pay a burial allowance of up to $2,000, as well as the cost of transporting the remains of said service member to whatever national cemetery is nearest to the home of the deceased and has grave sites available. Benefits are paid as a reimbursement to whomever handled the veteran’s burial expenses. Additionally, the VA will pay $300 toward veterans funeral and burial expenses for service members who were entitled to receive pension or compensation at the time of death or would have been entitled to compensation were it not for the receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also depends on factors like whether death occurred at a VA medical facility or nursing home – in cases where death took place at such a facility, additional transportation costs may be covered. Note: There is no time limit for filing funeral and burial benefit reimbursement claims for deaths related to active service. For all other deaths, claims must be filed within two years of veteran cremation or burial.
As part of burial benefits, the VA will pay a $300 plot allowance for veterans who have chosen to be buried in cemeteries not under U.S. Government jurisdiction provided the following conditions are met: The veteran was discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, received compensation or a pension or would have been eligible to receive a pension, or passed away while hospitalized in a VA medical facility. This benefit may be paid directly to the State if burial took place without charge in a cemetery reserved for veterans.
Families of deceased service members entitled to retired military pay can request an American Flag provided by the VA for draping a casket. After the funeral, this flag is most often given to the deceased’s next of kin or a loved one.
Veterans and service members who die while on active duty are eligible for burial in one of VA’s 114 national cemeteries. Included in veterans funeral services and burials are the cost of the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and care. For veteran cremations, columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains may also be included. Grave markers or headstones, and their placement, are provided for. Eligible veterans must have been honorably discharged after completing the required duration of service – this can include service with a reserve component. 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. In some cases, veterans’ spouses and children under 18 may be buried in a national cemetery.
It should be stressed that specific grave sites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved and the individual making the burial arrangements after a veteran funeral or veteran cremation must apply for placement at the time of death unless a reservation has been made under a previous program. The National Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends.
Headstones and Markers
The VA provides various styles of markers or headstones for veterans interred anywhere in the world, as well as eligible dependents of veterans buried in eligible cemeteries. These are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service – in addition to 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, if desired. Other inscriptions can be added at private expense. In burials coordinated through a national or military cemetery, the cemetery will order and place the headstone. For all other veteran burials, the deceased’s loved ones must apply to the VA for a headstone or marker and the VA is not responsible for the cost of placement. In the event that remains were not recovered, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery the same as that used to identify a grave except that the mandatory phrase “In Memory of” precedes the authorized inscription. To apply, complete VA form 40-1330 (available at VA regional offices) using the information on the DD-214 and other supporting documents for assistance. Mail your application to: Memorial Programs Service (41A1) Department of Veterans Affairs 5109 Russell Road Quantico, VA 22134-3903 For information regarding the status of an application, you may call the Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403B3) 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.
Presidential Memorial Certificate
The regional VA office offices can assist you in applying for Presidential Memorial certificates, which are calligraphic inscription expressing the nation’s recognition of an honorably discharged, deceased veteran’s service. Death may have taken place any time in the past. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends.