Social Security Benefits
The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security
benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.
The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security,
ranging from 1
1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.
Who May Recieve Monthly Benefits?
Lump-Sum Death Payment
- A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if
caring for an
entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
- A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the
10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or
- Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or
- Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they
- Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.
A one time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits
above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority
- A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased
person at the
time of death.
- A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month
- A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the
month of death.
Veteran's Benefits Applying for Benefits
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social
Security office or,
if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number
the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local
office to take your claim by telephone.
Burial in National Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA
national cemetery include the gravesite, a
headstone or marker, opening and closing of the
perpetual care. Many national
cemeteries have columbaria or
gravesites for cremated
Veterans and service members are eligible for burial in a VA national
cemetery, An eligible
veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under
than dishonorable and have completed the required period of service, Persons
retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve
component are eligible.
A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the
in a war also may be eligible A 1997 law bars persons convicted of federal or
crimes from being buried or memorialized in one of the VA national cemeteries
Arlington National Cemetery.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of service members also
buried in a national cemetery. Adult children incapable of self-support due
to physical or
mental disability are eligible for burial. If a surviving spouse of an
eligible veteran marries a
nonveteran, and remarriage was terminated by divorce or death of the
spouse is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or
burial arrangements must apply at the time of death, Reservations made under
programs are honored. Cemeteries do not provide military honors but may make
to military units or volunteer groups. The National Cemetery Administration
does not conduct burials on weekends, A weekend caller, however, will be
directed to one
of three VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule
burials at the
cemetery of the caller's choice during the following week.
Headstones and Markers
VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans
anywhere in the
world and of eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state
veteran or military
post cemeteries, Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and
types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the
markers also are available for identifying cremated remains in columbaria.
markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, branch of service, and
the years of
birth and death. Optional items that may be inscribed are military grade,
rank or rate; war
service such as "World War 11"; months and days of birth and death; an emblem
one's religion, and text indicating valor awards. When burial is in a
national, state veteran
or military post cemetery, the headstone or marker is offered through the
will place it on the grave, Information on style, inscription and shipping
can be obtained
from the cemetery, When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national,
or state veterans' cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from
VA. It is
shipped at government expense. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing
headstone or marker To apply, complete VA Form 40-1330 and forward it to
Memorial Programs Service (403A), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont
NW, Washington, DC 20420. Forms and assistance are available at VA regional
information regarding the status of an application, write to the Director,
Programs Service (4MA), or call 1-800-697-6947, VA cannot issue a headstone
for a spouse or child buried in a private cemetery- Twenty-year reservists
eligible for a headstone or grave marker.
Presidential Memorial Certificates
Presidential Memorial Certificates
express the nation's recognition
of veterans' service. Certificates
bearing the signature of the President
( are issued honoring deceased veterans with honorable
Eligible recipients include next of kin
and other loved ones. The award
of a certificate to one eligible
recipient does not preclude certificates to
other eligible recipients- The veteran may have died at any time in the past.
Requests for a certificate must be accompanied by a copy of a document such
as a discharge to establish honorable service. VA regional offices can assist
in applying for certificates.
VA provides an American flag to drape the
casket of a veteran or a
reservist entitled to retired military pay. After the
funeral service, the
flag may be given to the next of kin or a
close associate. Flags are issued at VA regional offices and national
cemeteries, and post offices. The Veterans Administration establishes
eligibility. Funeral directors can assist families in obtaining a flag.
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000 if the veteran's death is
some instances, VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a
veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of the deceased that has
gravesites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran's burial expenses
reimbursement from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense
veterans who, at time of death, were entitled to receive pension or
would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military
Eligibility also may be established when death occurs in a VA facility, a
under VA contract or a state nursing home. Additional costs of transportation
remains may be paid, There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of
service-connected deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two
permanent burial or cremation. VA will pay a $150 plot allowance when a
veteran is not
buried in a cemetery that is under US. government jurisdiction under the
circumstances: the veteran was discharged from active duty because of
or aggravated in the line of duty, the veteran was in receipt of compensation
or would have been except for receiving military retired pay; or the veteran
died in a VA
facility. The $150 plot allowance may be paid to the state if a veteran is
charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved
veteran burials. Burial expenses paid by the deceased's employer or a state
agency will not
be reimbursed, For information on monetary benefits, call 1-800-827-1000.
Contacting the Veteran Affairs Office
Depending on their circumstances, military veterans and their dependents are
entitled to a
variety of benefits beyond these burial benefits. Contact should be made to
Affairs Office to determine what benefits can be claimed and then gather the
The National Toll-free Number for the Veterans Affairs Office is-- (800)
Military Honors What is new about Military Funeral Honors?
Military Funeral Honors have always
been provided whenever possible.
However, the low now mandates the
rendering of Military Funeral
Honors for an eligible veteran if
requested by the family. As provided
consist of not less than two members of the
Armed Forces. One
member of the detail shall be a
representative of the parent Service of
the deceased veteran. The honor detail
will, at a minimum, perform a ceremony that includes the folding and
presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps,
Taps will be played by a bugler, if available, at by electronic recording.
Today, there are so few buglers available that the Military Services often
cannot provide one.
Who is eligible for Military Funeral Honors?
How much does a Military Funeral Honors detail cost?
- Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve
- Former military members who served on active duty and departed under
other than dishonorable.
- Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment
of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under
other than dishonorable
- Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a
incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
Military Funeral Honors are provided by the Department of Defense at no cost
to the family.
How much notice should be provided for the honors request?
The Services requests at least 48 hours in order to organize the funeral
To whom can the family write to express comments or concerns about the
Military Funeral Honors program?
They may write to,
Military Funeral Honors
9504 IM-35 North, Suite 320
Son Antonio, TX 78233-6635