Six Important Things You May Not Know about Veterans’ Burial Benefits

By: VGFS
Sunday, October 25, 2020

Military veterans make significant sacrifices to protect the freedoms we enjoy. In recognition of this heroism, it is customary to honor their passing with military funeral pageantry.

Read on for some essential things you should know about military burial benefits so you can arrange the respectful, dignified ceremony your loved one so richly deserves. 

1. The ceremony is provided at no cost to the family.

The U.S. Department of Defense is legally required to give every eligible veteran a free military funeral honors ceremony upon the family's request. These benefits include:

  • Folding and presenting the United States burial flag to the next of kin
  • A rifle salute that consists of three to seven volleys, depending upon the rank of the deceased
  • The playing of Taps, either with a live bugler or via a ceremonial bugle accompanied by a recording
  • An honors detail with two or more uniformed military persons, one of whom must be a member of the veteran's branch of the armed forces

Depending upon the veteran’s service level, additional traditional remembrance elements may be included, such as a horse-drawn carriage, a fly-over by fighter jets in missing man formation, or a military band and escort platoon.

2. The VA does not cover all veterans' funeral expenses.

While every eligible veteran can receive a military honors ceremony, the costs of the funeral or cremation arrangements are rarely fully funded by the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA). However, the VA will pay for funeral expenses if the service member was killed in the line of duty.

3. You may be eligible to receive a funeral allowance.

When the cause of a veteran’s death is not service-related, the VA reimbursement is available in two payments: up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and plot interment allowance of approximately $800 if the veteran was receiving a pension. The VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for service-related deaths.

4. Documentation is required.

Your loved one's military discharge papers, death certificate, and any receipts for the cost of transporting the body must be provided to secure veterans' funeral benefits. Your funeral director will be happy to assist you with submitting the documentation and completing the required VA paperwork.

5. Most members of the military are eligible for burial in a veteran’s cemetery.

Generally, any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who dies while on active duty or any veteran discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is entitled to burial or inurnment in a VA national state veterans cemetery. This burial benefit includes:

  • An assigned gravesite
  • Opening and closing of the grave
  • A grave liner for casketed remains
  • A government headstone or marker
  • Perpetual care at no cost

Please note that space in VA national cemeteries may not be reserved in advance. Arrangements must be made at the time of death, and spaces are assigned based on availability. 

6. Headstones or markers may also be provided.

Upon request, the VA will furnish a government headstone or marker for the grave of the eligible deceased veteran in any cemetery at no cost. Upright headstones are available in granite and marble; flat markers are available in granite, marble, and bronze; and niche plaques for cremated remains can also be provided. An “Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for Installation in a Private or State Veteran’s Cemetery” (VA Form 40-1330) must be submitted. Your funeral director can help you secure and complete this document.

We are honored to serve you.

The caring staff at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services is committed to providing military veterans and their families with deeply meaningful and respectful ceremonies. Our experienced funeral directors will also help your family manage the many details involved in the military funeral planning process. You can rely on us to arrange a final farewell that graciously and appropriately reflects your loved one’s legacy.

The story of every veteran’s life deserves to be shared and celebrated. If you have questions, would like additional information, or need to make final arrangements, please contact our caring professionals anytime.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore's African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to deliver our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

These Seven Heart Health Threats Might Surprise You

The road to longevity is paved with choices that safeguard your heart health. The heart is not just a muscle; it’s the engine that keeps the body running. You may be surprised to learn that many f...

The Rules of Visitation Etiquette: Eight Tips for Being a Polite Funeral Guest

When attending a funeral or memorial service, it's crucial to understand the protocols, including proper visitation etiquette. Funeral visitations and wakes can be emotionally taxing, but they off...

National Craft Month: How Tapping Into Your Creative Side Helps Your Mental Health

March is National Craft Month and studies show a strong connection between our mental health and our creativity. The benefits of crafting range from decreased stress, improved brain productivity,...

A Practical Guide to Selecting Burial Clothes with Love and Reverence

Choosing burial clothes for a loved one can be a tender act of remembrance and profound significance. Navigating loss is a challenging experience on many levels. Despite the weight of grief, numer...

Ten Easy, Creative Ways to Add More Produce to Your Diet

Few things can enhance health and wellness like striving to add more produce to your diet. Bursting with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, produce is nature's gift to our bodi...

Your Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Fascinating Myths and the Truth Behind Them

Understanding cremation reveals countless misconceptions about the ancient practice. Cremation has been around for centuries but it remains surrounded by mystery. You might be surprised to know th...

Reflecting on Black History Month, The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans and the role they have played in building this country, as well as recognize their achievements. Diversity and inclusion are essential in...

Need an Alternative to Traditional Funeral Flowers? Here are Eight Smart Options.

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional funeral flowers have emerged as a growing trend in end-of-life services. As more people become conscious of their environmental impact, they are seeking wa...

Winter Heart Attacks: Why They’re More Common and How to Avoid Them

The colder months bring more than just frosty weather—they also bring a greater chance of winter heart attacks. The winter season is usually associated with cozy blankets, warm fires, and snowy ou...

Condolence Messages: How to Find the Right Words at a Difficult Time

It’s very common to have a hard time finding the right words when composing condolence messages. Whether you are posting to an online sympathy board or sending your condolences by mail, knowing wh...