February 3

Final Expense Plus VA Benefits for Veterans

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Veterans have sacrificed a great deal for our country, and we want our veterans to get the proper recognition that they deserve. One way we can accomplish this is by making them aware of their burial benefits.

Final expense is the perfect supplement to VA benefits. It ensures that no costs come out of pocket when the time comes, and when the reimbursement comes from VA benefits, that is a little extra cash for your client's loved ones to have. We still recommend your client to buy as big of a final expense plan as they can afford as the VA benefits will only cover a small fraction of the funeral costs. 

Ensuring that Veterans Get the Most Out of Their Benefits

VA benefits vary heavily depending on how and when the veteran served, how and when they died, and what type of burial they want. One of the following must be true to receive benefits. The individual can be:

  • A veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge
  • A service member who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training
  • The spouse or minor child of a veteran, even if the veteran died first

Veterans are free to be buried in any cemetery they wish, in whatever manner they wish. However, this could potentially alter the amount of benefits they receive. The benefits that veterans could be eligible to receive are:

  • Up to $2,000 in burial benefits for service-related deaths that occurred on or after September 11, 2001
  • Up to $1,500 in burial benefits for service-related deaths that occurred before September 11, 2001
  • Reimbursement of some or all transportation costs to a national cemetery
  • $255 from government benefits
  • If the veteran died on or after October 1, 2019 and was hospitalized by a VA at the time, a $796 burial allowance and $796 for a plot
  • If the veteran died as a result of a non-service related death, a $300 burial allowance will be received
  • $300 for a plot allotment for a veteran choosing to be buried in a private cemetery

VA Burial Benefit Services for Veterans

Funeral providers feel honored that your clients choose them to arrange the burial of a veteran. Most funeral homes will take it upon themselves to arrange the VA burial benefits. Nonetheless, it is important that both your client and their loved ones are educated on the services available to them when the time comes. These services include:

  • Opening and closing of the grave
  • Perpetual care/grave maintenance
  • Government headstone or marker
  • Public Law 106-65 requires every eligible veteran to have their ceremony include folding and presenting the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate

The Family is Responsible for Obtaining VA Benefits

When someone who was in the military passes away, the VA won't be reaching out to their family. Your client's family is responsible for actively obtaining the VA benefits. 

In order to receive an allowance for the burial, your client's loved ones must file a claim for a non-service connected burial allowance within two years after your client's burial or cremation. These are the steps to submitting an application applying for benefits:

  • Submit the Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents), the death certificate, and any documents or receipts you have for the cost of transporting the remains
  • A statement of account that includes the veteran’s name, the type of service or item purchased, any credits, and any unpaid balance
  • The surviving spouse must make sure they’re listed as the spouse on the veteran’s profile in order to receive an allowance

Planning Ahead for Peace of Mind

The average funeral in the United States can cost roughly $10,000. While the VA does provide some services and benefits, it is very unlikely that this will cover all costs. It is important to understand what they will cover, and then purchase a final expense plan to cover the remaining costs. 

Funerals are time sensitive matter, so it is important to plan ahead if your client wants military honors and burial benefits. That means talking to the funeral provider ahead of time and making sure what your client wants is possible. 

Final expense plus VA benefits for veterans

More for Your Veteran Clients

To learn more about VA benefits for service members, check out the VA Benefits for Service Members from the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs.

Final Expense Resources

Check out our Final Expense Insurance Corner to learn everything about final expense, from expanding your book of business to more ways to help your clients who are veterans. Visit our VIP Portal for the latest news and updates from carriers.

If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call at 888-622-9122. Our expert agent support team is always ready to help.

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