Understanding Veteran’s Funeral Benefits
For funerals for military veterans at Surprise, AZ funeral homes, several funeral benefits are available from the Veterans Administration. The funeral home or local Veterans Administration office can assist with most of the paperwork required to receive these benefits (all military veterans, except for those dishonorably discharged, are eligible for these benefits). The family of the deceased will need to provide a DD-214, which is the standard military discharge document.
All honorably-discharged military veterans are entitled to be buried in a nation cemetery. They are also entitled to a granite or marble gravestone (whether they are buried in a national cemetery or not), and they are entitled to an American flag, which is presented to a family member during the graveside ceremony.
If the honorably-discharged military veteran is being buried in a national cemetery, there is no cost for opening the grave or closing the grave, for a grave liner or a grave vault, or placing the gravestone. Costs that are not covered include preparation of the body, the casket, and transportation to the cemetery.
For military members who die while they are on active duty, all funeral expenses are paid by the military. This includes body preparation, the casket, transportation to the cemetery (regardless of whether it’s a national cemetery or a private cemetery), internment (if the deceased is being buried in a national cemetery), and a grave marker. Additionally, the service member’s immediate family is entitled to a death benefit of $100,000.
For deaths of military personnel that are directly related to a service-related injury, the Veterans Administration offers a $2000 burial allowance to help cover funeral expenses. If the deceased is being buried in a national cemetery, transportation costs may be covered, but these are decided by the Veterans Administration on a case-by-case basis. If the deceased is not being buried in a national cemetery, an interment allowance of $300 is available from the Veterans Administration (this will not fully cover grave opening and closing or vault or liner charges). The Veterans Administration will provide a marble or granite headstone at no cost, but private cemeteries may charge a fee to set the gravestone.
If a honorably-discharged military veteran dies from a non-service-related illness while in a Veterans Administration health care facility, a $722 allowance is available to put toward funeral expenses if the deceased is being buried in a national cemetery. If the deceased is being buried in a private cemetery, the Veterans Administration will pay an additional $722 dollars for burial costs.
For honorably-discharged military veterans who die from a non-service-related cause in a private health care facility, if the deceased was collecting a Veterans Administration pension or disability compensation, the Veterans Administration will pay $300 toward funeral or burial costs. Burial is free in national cemeteries, but all other associated costs beyond the $300 will be the family’s responsibility.
If an honorably-discharged veteran is not receiving a military pension or disability compensation, there is no financial allowance provided by the Veterans Administration. However, they are entitled to a free plot in a national cemetery, a grave vault or liner, burial, a granite or marble gravestone, and a flag. If burial is not in a national cemetery, the family will be responsible for all funeral and burial costs.
Spouses and dependents of honorably-discharged military veterans are also entitled to burial in national cemeteries. A gravestone will be provided by the Veterans Administration at no charge.
For more information about veterans’ funeral benefits at Surprise, AZ funeral homes, our compassionate and experienced team at Simply Cremation & Funeral Arrangements can help. You can come to our funeral home at 16952 W. Bell Rd., #303, Surprise, AZ, 85374, or you can contact us today at (623) 975-9393.