Ask the Expert: Veterans Memorial Benefits
by Karen Allen, Location Manager of the Carothers Funeral Home Group in Gastonia, Dallas and Stanley
Q: I’m a United States Veteran. What kinds of memorial benefits are available to me and my family?
A: First of all, thank you for your courageous, selfless service to our country. As a veteran, you may qualify for burial benefits through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), and it’s essential to find a funeral or cemetery provider that understands these benefits and can help you design a memorial that not only reflects your personality and passions, but also honors your legacy of service and commitment. The following benefits may be made available to veterans and their survivors, as supplied by the VA:• Burial and plot interment allowances• Burial in a VA National Cemetery• Headstones and markers• Military honors• Burial flag• Presidential Memorial Certificate(PMC)
Q: How do I file for Veterans memorial benefits?
A: Ensuring that all available Veterans benefits are received is very important. Keep in mind that, like Social Security benefits,Veterans benefits are not paid automatically; you must apply for them. Here’s what you will need when filing for Veterans benefits:
- Death certificate
- Discharge papers (DD-214)
- Marriage certificate
- Birth certificate(s) for Veterans’s minor child(ren)
- Receipt of itemized funeral bill
A knowledgeable provider can walk you through this process and help you coordinate every detail of a final tribute that truly celebrates the life it represents.
Q: What else does your funeral home do to honor veterans?
A: Only Dignity Memorial is part of a nationwide network that serves more Veterans than any other provider. We work year-round to help Veterans and their loved ones understand and obtain memorial benefits at informational seminars, and we are proud to partner with community programs like the We Honor Veterans Program and the Homeless Veterans Burial Program. We also host and participate in annual Memorial Day and Veterans Day celebrations. And, to help you plan, our funeral home offers a Veterans Planning Guide filled with useful information about the benefits available to you and how to apply for them, as well as a place where you can organize and record your final wishes. You can contact us to receive your complimentary planning guide today.
If you have more questions, visit your local funeral provider. They are a good source of information for funeral, cremation and cemetery options.