VETS VIEWS: VSO explains veterans death benefits
The death of a loved one is never pleasant and can be very hard on the family, but if the departed person is a Veteran he or she and the family has certain benefits that they are entitled too. I will outline some of these benefits for you.
If the veteran wished to be interred in one of the national cemeteries, benefits available include a gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, all at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for burial allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family.
If the veteran wished to be interred in their private cemetery benefits include a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. There are not any benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.
If the family of the veteran wishes any of these services they should let the funeral director know and provide a copy of the veterans DD 214 or discharge papers. I have visited each of the Funeral Homes located in Hubbard County and their staff is very knowledgeable. By all means, ask them about these benefits if your loved one was a veteran.
The VA will pay $2000 if the veteran died as a direct result of a service-connected disability, or if the service-connected disability was a contributing cause for the veteran's death. For a Nonservice-Related Death the VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and a plot-interment allowance of $300.
If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the deceased's remains may be reimbursed. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of moving the deceased may be reimbursed.
If the veteran was receiving a service related compensation the surviving spouse or children may be eligible for the following VA program Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) this program pays a basic monthly rate of $1,154 for an eligible surviving spouse. The rate is increased for each dependent child, and also if the surviving spouse is housebound or in need of aid and attendance. VA also adds a transitional benefit of $286 to the surviving spouse's monthly DIC for each child under age 18.
The surviving spouse or children may be eligible for the following VA program Death Pension Benefits, this program pays you the difference between your countable income and the yearly income limit which describes your situation. This difference is generally paid in 12 equal monthly payments rounded down to the nearest dollar. This program is a supplement to your current income and it is income limiting of up to $7,933 (yearly income) which is the maximum for the surviving spouse or $ 10,385 (yearly income) maximum for a surviving spouse and child.
A death in the family often finds the survivors ill-prepared to cope with the loss. Please do not hesitate to contact this office if you have questions relating to a veteran. The purpose of the Hubbard County Veteran Service Office is to provide assistance and support to eligible veterans, their dependents and survivors in obtaining benefits through the State and Federal Departments of Veterans Affairs, and to provide benefit counseling, claims service, referral and assistance in a variety of other programs.
You can contact me at the Hubbard County Veteran Service Office at 201 Fair Ave, Park Rapids, (218) 732-3561. Have a great day!
P.S. Thanks to all who participated in the recent Veterans Fair. It was a great success!