A Guide To The Benefits Available To Veterans

By: James Donofrio
Friday, February 24, 2023

At Blair Mazzarella Funeral Home, we're glad to help get the word out about the importance of remembering our country's veterans. It is our joy to serve you and your family at this difficult time, and we will do all in our power to help you celebrate the life of your loved one who gave so much to our country.

Details Of A Military Burial

Veterans who meet the requirements are not required to pay anything for military funeral honors. The DD-214 or other discharge documents will be used to assess their eligibility.

These veterans are entitled to military funeral honors:

  • Persons serving in the Selected Reserve or on Active Duty in the Armed Forces.
  • Ex-servicemen and women whose discharge from the military was handled with dignity.
  • Veterans who served their country honorably for at least one term of service or first obligatory duty in the Selected Reserve.
  • Veterans who were medically released from the Selected Reserve because of an injury sustained or made worse while serving their country.

How Are They Honored?

Numerous funeral and burial allowances are available to veterans and their families, but their receipt will depend on their status as a veteran. An American flag will be folded and presented to the veteran's next of kin, and either a live bugler or a recording of Taps will be played during the funeral.

These particular rites are carried out by an honor guard detail consisting of at least two active-duty military personnel. The veteran's service branch should be represented by at least one of the committee members. It is this individual's responsibility to present the flag to the memorial.

Additional Military Funeral Honors Consist Of The Following:

  • A rifle salute consists of three shots, one for duty, honor, and nation.
  • American flag draped over the casket
  • One last honor at the grave

Veterans’ Funeral Benefits

Veterans in the United States are eligible for several funeral benefits provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA):

  • Burial Allowance- This includes a burial allowance to help cover the costs of a funeral, burial plot, or cremation for veterans who died due to service-related conditions.
  • Grave Markers- You can choose government headstones, markers, or medallions for the graves of eligible veterans.
  • National Cemetery Burial- The VA operates 131 national cemeteries across the country, where eligible veterans and their dependents can be buried for free.
  • Presidential Memorial Certificates- These certificates honor deceased veterans' memory.
  • Transportation of Remains- The Veterans Affairs would pay for the remains of eligible veterans to the nearest national cemetery with available space if the veteran died while in VA health care or if the veteran's death was due to a service-related condition.

It's important to note that eligibility for these benefits varies and may depend on several factors, such as the veteran's discharge status, length of service, and cause of death. It's recommended to contact the VA directly for more information.

Burial Privileges At A VA Cemetery Can Be Reserved In Advance

Like civilians, veterans can also choose a pre-need funeral plan which involves preplanning their funeral service. However, only qualifying veterans can choose a pre-need service. You can apply in advance to find out whether you qualify for burial at a VA national cemetery.

In the event of your passing, a pre-need certification of eligibility may ease the burden of funeral arrangements on your loved ones. There are several veterans' funeral service-related technicalities. You may have questions even after researching this topic on the VA website; it's best to work with a funeral director.

Elegant And Sophisticated Funeral Services For Veterans

After one's passing, everyone should be able to afford a funeral fitting their status. Veterans and their families share many traditions as the civilian families we are honored to support.

Veterans who meet the requirements of the Veterans Affairs Program are provided with respectful farewells and last resting places. It’s a way to honor them and recognize their service to the nation.

For inquiries about benefits available to veterans, please feel free to call Blair Mazzarella Funeral Home at (718) 282-1164. If you prefer to email us, write to us through this contact form, and we will call you back soon. 

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