In the United States, there are some burial benefits for military veterans and their spouses. What many people don’t know is that all veterans, with the exception of those that have been dishonorably discharged, are eligible for burial at a National Cemetery, a marker for that grave, and a United States flag.
It is possible for the same benefits to be offered to a spouse and to dependent children.
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There is no cost to the family for these benefits which is important to know about. There aren’t charges for the gravesite to be prepared, for a vault liner, or even for the marker to be put into place. However, there could be some costs that the family does need to cover. They can include flowers for the service, preparation of the body, and transportation of the body to the funeral home and then from the funeral home to the gravesite.
There seems to be some conflicting information out there about those facts. The reason that there is different information though, is due to different guidelines. For example, if someone in the military is killed while on active duty then all expenses are paid. As of 2005, there is also a payout to the next of kin in the amount of $100,000. When there is a death due to a service related injury, there is a $2,000 allowance given for funeral expenses.
While that certainly helps, it’s not typically enough to cover the cost of a funeral. Ideally, the veteran had some sort of funeral cover in force to help pay for the memorial service and/or funeral.
Should there not be any next of kin for a vet, or if the remains are unclaimed, the government will take on all responsibility for the funeral arrangements. This includes the costs, selecting the location, and making sure the marker has correct information on it. Sometimes the remains are released to Veteran’s Service Organizations for burial. This is an important Veterans burial benefit that is offered for those that may not have anyone to take care of the funeral arrangements on their behalf.
A spouse can still benefit from a military burial if they would like to, even if they do remarry. Too often, people assume that the new marriage voids out this right that came from the previous marriage but it won’t. Adult children of veterans may qualify as well if they are dependent or if they are disabled.
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This is the inspiring story of the National Cemetery Administration and its service to our nations Veterans.
Photo is in the public domain.