Applying for Veterans Burial Benefits is simple if you know the right person.
On every veteran form there is a “Respondent’s Burden” and the time listed to complete the form. Poor choice of words if you ask me, the word Veteran and the word Burden does not belong together. Choose a funeral home, a funeral director that has the time and the desire to help every Vet get every benefit they EARNED. Or preplan your own funeral, all the paperwork can be placed in your file 95% completed.
Knowing what you are entitled to and how to get it is two different things.
As a licensed funeral director I feel as a part of my JOB is to follow through and ensure that all veterans get all benefits. For the cost of a postage stamp and a few faxes, the worse they could say is No. And haven’t we all heard that before.
What comes when they say YES, for a non-service related death the VA will pay up to $747 towards burial and funeral expenses PLUS a $747 plot allowance if not buried in a National Cemetery. Who is eligible? Anyone who paid for a Veterans Funeral, Burial or Cremation. For a service-related death, the VA will pay up to $2,000.
Remember, only if YOU apply. Sounds easy? It is estimated that 70% of veterans do not receive any death benefits from VA. Why? Because while getting your last haircut, Bill the Barber said his Uncle didn’t get it, so you never apply. The funeral home (most, not all) doesn’t take the time because the VA reimburse the paying client. At that point the funeral home is paid, sad but true.
In addition to the monetary benefit, which has a 2-year statute of limitations – there are other benefits available. These benefits have no statute of limitations; we have gone back generations to obtain these at no cost.