“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere, who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor, also, to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves, as he best can, the same cause,” said Abraham Lincoln. In life and in death, many of us hold America’s military veterans in the highest regard. This is why we continually offer education and updated information on veterans funeral benefits with the community at large.
The Veterans Death Benefits page on our site is a continually updated source of information for the loved ones of the men and women who valiantly served and protected our country during times of conflict and peace.
Funeral directors with Phaneuf Funeral Homes and Crematorium notify Veterans Affairs (VA) at the time of death for families of veterans.
VA funeral benefits depend on the circumstances surrounding the place of death and which benefits the veteran is entitled to receive. Some benefits require completion of a form. All applicable forms are here on our site.
Many Americans say it’s important to have their end-of-life wishes known, but most of them do not do so until a health crisis occurs. It makes sense for military members to begin an end-of-life plan, just as it does for all healthy adults.
Doing so alleviates frustration and confusion that family members face when they only have a couple days to make important decisions, such as:
- Cremation or burial?
- Large wake or small family gathering?
- Church service?
- Burial in a veterans cemetery?
- Scatter the remains at sea?
There are a lot more questions, which is why it makes sense to at the very least write down some wishes and let loved ones know where they can find them when the time comes.
Phaneuf’s funeral directors handle all details for veterans’ cremation, funeral and burial arrangements, including:
- Applying for monetary benefits from the VA
- Scheduling and arranging military honors
- Coordinating with federal and state VA cemeteries
- Obtaining a flag for the service
- Ordering the veteran’s cemetery marker
Pending legislation would veterans funeral benefits via the Burial Rights for America’s Veterans’ Efforts (BRAVE) Act of 2019 (H.R. 497/S. 598), which was introduced to Congress in 2019.. If passed, the BRAVE Act would improve existing death benefits for veterans who meet certain eligibility requirements.
Here is a look at current veteran funeral benefits (including those not part of the BRAVE Act) and the proposed benefits from the BRAVE Act:
$200 Active Duty or Service Connected Death if the died during active duty; or an honorably-discharged veteran died of a service-connected injury.The BRAVE Act will index the benefit for inflation.
- $780 Non-Service-Connected Death in VA facility: There will be no change to this benefit with the BRAVE Act, as it is already indexed for inflation.
- $300 Non-Service-Connected Death not in a VA Facility or when the veteran has no next of kin.
The BRAVE Act will increase the benefit to $780 (equal to a non-service-connected death in a VA facility) and index it for inflation.
We’ll follow the progress of the veterans funeral benefits act and update our website with new information as available.
Making arrangements for veterans
Some of the items to bring to the funeral home include:
- Birth certificate
- Military discharge papers (form DD 214)
- List of surviving relatives and their cities of residence
- Recent photograph for cosmetic work and hair styling
- Insurance papers (if used to pay for the funeral)
- Pre-arrangement funeral information (if any exists)
- Cemetery deed
- Personal items, such as jewelry, eyeglasses and religious items
Our Boscawen, NH location is less than two miles from the New Hampshire Veterans Cemetery and we recently added a new monument to veterans that features a flag for every military branch. It’s another way we show our appreciation for America’s veterans.