If your loved one served in the military, you may be wondering if the Veteran's Administration (VA) will pay for some or all of the individual's funeral expenses. While it is true the VA will give families money to bury or cremate their loved ones, it's not as much as you would think and certain conditions for receiving the money apply. Here's what you need to know.
VA Burial Benefits
The Veteran's Administration will pay the surviving spouse (or next of kin) a flat rate for funeral expenses after the individual passes, and the amount depends on the person's status with the military and when and/or where the individual died.
For instance, if the person died during active duty, the VA will issue a check for $2,000 to cover expenses. However, if the individual was honorably discharged, the VA will only pay $300 for the burial and $762 for the plot that will serve as the decedent's final resting place. The VA will also pay to transport the veteran's body from the location of death to the burial site in certain situations.
It should be noted that some veterans (and their family members) may be eligible for interment in the National Cemetery at no or minimal cost to the family, so it's a good idea to contact the agency for more information about this option.
VA Burial Benefit Eligibility
Both the veteran and the beneficiary must meet certain eligibility requirements before burial benefits will be dispersed. For instance, only the surviving spouse, children, parents, or the executor of the veteran's estate may receive the money for the veteran's funeral expenses, and the check will be issued to the first living qualified person. So if the veteran was not married, the money would be given to his or her first-born child.
As far as the veteran goes, he or she must not have been dishonorably discharged from the military. Additionally, the person must have died while in service, from a service-related injury, in a VA hospital (or receiving care from the VA), or receiving a pension or other compensation from the agency.
Typically payment for burial services is automatically sent to the surviving next of kin once the VA has been notified of the person's death. It should be noted that it can cost an average of $2,057 for standard barebones cremation. So if the burial benefit from the VA won't cover the amount, discuss the issue with the cremation company. They may have a few ideas on ways you can cover any balance remaining on the account.
For more information about cremation and related services, contact a local company, like American Cremation Society.Share
4 November 2017
Hi everyone, my name is Sari Blakenship. My first time visiting a funeral home was an extremely comforting experience. Although I was blindsided by the death of my loved one, the funeral director helped me through the planning process without taking advantage of my grief. I was allowed to work at my own pace to cope with the grief in a healthy way. I was never rushed or pressured, despite the necessary timeline. Whenever I couldn't move forward, the funeral director held my hand and offered words of comfort. I would like to share each step of the funeral planning process to help others through this difficult process. Planning a funeral takes a lot of thought and time during a particularly difficult period. Please visit whenever you need a hand.