When a service member passes away, it is the Veterans Benefits Administration’s (VBA) responsibility to honor their sacrifice and take care of their spouses, children, and parents with benefits. These benefits include money for funeral, cremation, and burial services.
Government Memorial and Burial Benefits Available to You:
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
A tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of veterans who have died in service or a disease gained from service.
A surviving spouse must:
- Be married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training.
- Have married the veteran before January 1, 1957.
- Have married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran's death.
- Not be currently remarried.
- Not be included on the surviving spouse’s DIC.
- Be unmarried.
- Be under age 18 or between the ages of 18 and 23 and attending school.
- Complete VA Form 21-534, "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child” and mail to your state's Pension Management Center.
- Work with an accredited representative or agent.
- If the death was in service or related to an injury incurred while performing their duties, your Military Casualty Assistance Officer will assist you in completing VA Form 21-534a, "Application for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Death Pension and Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child" and mailing to your regional office.
A tax-free monetary benefit payable to a low-income, un-remarried surviving spouse and/or unmarried children of a deceased veteran with wartime service. The deceased service member must have met the following requirements:
- Been in service on or before September 7, 1980 and served at least 90 days of active military service, with at least one day during a wartime period.
- If he or she entered active duty after September 7, 1980, generally he or she must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which they were called or ordered to active duty, with at least one day during a wartime period.
- Was honorably discharged from service.
- Be under the age of 18.
- Under the age of 23 and attending a VA-approved school.
- Permanently incapable of self-support due to a disability before age 18.
The Veterans Benefits Administration offers more benefits, services and counseling to veterans’ families, so make sure to contact a representative to learn about all your options.
Distinctive Life’s Veteran-Specific Burial Options
Many people may not realize that spouses and dependents of veterans may qualify for national cemetery burial benefits. The VA also provides burial allowances to help eligible families with funeral and burial costs.
Veteran benefits and services extend beyond the benefits administered by the federal government. At Distinctive Life, we honor the lives of veterans with our veteran funeral burial options. Your personal funeral director will work with you to plan a meaningful and memorable service at any cemetery of your choice.
In addition to the services provided in our non-military burial packages, we offer:
- Committal Service with Military Honors
- Opening and Closing of Grave
- Headstone or Marker
- Burial Flag
- Perpetual Care
- Presidential Memorial Certificate
- Printed Prayer Cards
- Military Folders
- Obituary Bookmarks
- Register Books