Many families in Allen Park, Trenton and Monroe, MI have questions about cremation and burial services for veterans. At Martenson Family of Funeral Homes, Inc., you can always find all the information and the support you and your family need. The Department of Veterans Affairs can also answer any questions you may have regarding reimbursements for burial services or cremation expenses.
The VA National Cemetery Administration provides a free veteran funeral with wartime or peacetime service (with the exception of training) provided the veteran was not dishonorably discharged. Veterans for the Air National Guard and the Reserve also have this option if they die during service or training. This extends to the spouse or a minor child of an eligible veteran, and under specific conditions, to unmarried adult children. For more specific details, please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at 800-827-1000.
Families should be aware that the VA does not provide reimbursement or payments for cremation or burial services, nor do they provide military honors or transportation when death is not service-related.
The family of the deceased must apply for reimbursement of the veteran funeral or cremation expenses. There are several documents required by the VA, and we can work with you to ensure you have the necessary information to start the claim process.
Applicants are required to have a certified copy of the Death Certificate and the original DD Form 214, which is the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty. In addition, all bills, including funeral service expenses and recent medical bills, are required. If a life insurance settlement is pending, the VA requires verification of the amount.
Information on divorces or death certificates of previous spouses are also required. Any dependent children of the veteran that are 18 or younger, or 18 and in school as a full-time student, need to provide an original birth certificate. The children's Social Security numbers, as well as the Social Security number of the spouse, is required.
Any additional income, current VA claims, or if yourself or the veteran are receiving Social Security Benefits, these amounts must be provided with the application.
When the veteran's death is connected to service, the VA provides a veteran funeral allowance of up to $2000. Transportation of the remains of the veteran is also compensated to the nearest national cemetery. There is also a $300 allowance for funeral expenses if the veteran would be entitled to pension or compensation but was receiving retirement pay from the military. A $300 plot allowance is provided if the veteran is buried in a cemetery not under the jurisdiction of the U.S. Government. If there is no charge for the plot or the cemetery is reserved for veterans, the plot allowance can be paid directly to the state. Should the expenses be paid by the veteran's employer or any state government, they will not be reimbursed to the family.
The same is true if the death of the veteran occurs in a VA contracted nursing home or a VA facility. For non-service related deaths, there is a two-year time period to make a claim, but if the death is service-connected there is no time limit.
The VA provides an American flag for the casket. The flag may be provided to a family member or associate of the deceased after the funeral service. In cases where the service member is presumed dead and missing in action, the VA issues a flag. The flag can be issued at post offices, VA regional offices, or at national cemeteries.
There are 114 national cemeteries across the United States. The burial services at these cemeteries are standard and include the opening and closing of the grave, the gravesite, and the ongoing care of the gravesite. Headstones and markers are placed at no cost. Many of the VA cemeteries have areas for the burial of the cremated remains, or they provide columbaria for inurnment.
In addition to veterans and active-duty members, spouses and minor children of veterans and military members can be buried in these cemeteries. This includes spouses who may have married a non-military member but then divorced or if the marriage ended by the death of the subsequent spouse. Gravesites in these cemeteries are not reserved and are only available at the time of death.
The VA provides headstones and markers for veterans around the world, including unmarked graves. They also provide headstones and markers for dependents eligible for burial in military cemeteries in the United States. The cemetery can provide specific information on the style and inscription.
Markers and headstones must meet specific requirements and be consistent with the style in use in the cemetery. This includes both niche markers as well as headstones. Headstones will be inscribed with the name, birth and death years, as well as the branch of service of the deceased. Additional items that can be included on the headstone engraving include military grade, war service, expanded dates of birth and death, emblems, valor awards, and if the veteran received a Purple Heart. The family can request additional inscriptions at their expense.
If the veteran's burial is outside of a VA or national cemetery, the VA supplies the marker or headstone upon receiving an application. It is shipped to the individual, and the cost of placing the headstone is not included.
The same applies if the remains of the veteran are not available for burial or cremation. However, the additional phrase "In Memory of" is placed in front of the formation on the market or headstone. Additional information and the application form 40-1330 can be obtained by contacting the VA. To mail an application, the address is:
Department of Veterans Affairs 5109 Russell Road Quantico, VA 22134-3903 For questions on the application or to inquire about the status, contact the Director of the Office of Memorial Programs at 1-800-697-6947.
Eligible family members can request a Presidential Memorial Certificate. This is an elegantly designed parchment that recognizes the veteran's service. It is inscribed to the veteran and includes the signature of the current President. It is possible for more than one family member to obtain a certificate, and they can be requested by the next of kin. In most cases, a local VA office requests the certificate, but the family may also make the request from the VA regional office.
If you are faced with the difficulty of making funeral arrangements for a veteran in the Allen Park, Trenton and Monroe, MI, the staff at Martenson Family of Funeral Homes, Inc. can help you and provide you with all the information you need.