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There are several benefits available to survivors of veterans and active service personnel, and we can assist you in completing application for those benefits. Because of the lengthy processing time, pending VA Benefits are not recorded as a credit against the funeral account; rather the benefits are disbursed back to the family upon receipt by the funeral home.
Burial Benefits and Plot Allowance
Veterans who die as a result of a service-connected disability, who were receiving a military pension at the time of death, who died in a VA approved facility or who were legally indigent may be entitled to burial benefits to help cover burial/cremation and/or funeral expenses. The total benefit may vary. We can assist you in applying for benefits and determining the eligible amount.
Headstone or Marker
Veterans are eligible for a government-provided headstone or marker. The family may choose from a selection of bronze, granite or marble markers with a variety of inscriptions. We will help you complete the marker application and help make arrangements for the shipment and installation. The VA no longer offers a monetary allowance for a marker from another source.
Burial in a National Cemetery
This available for any veteran of war or peace-time eservice whose last period of service ended in honorable discharge and to those who die while on active duty. Expenses for the cemetery lot and actual burial are provided by the VA. There may be certain criteria (i.e. Length of service, specific rank, cremated) the deceased has to meet in order to go into a specific National Cemetery (i.e. Arlington). There may also be some restrictions on eligibility for those on active duty since 1980. Application for burial benefits in a national cemetery is made at the time of death.
An American flag is available to any veteran. The flag can be draped over the casket or placed on display, folded and beside the casket or urn. The flag will be formally presented to the next-of-kin following the committal service.
Every veteran is currently eligible for a 2 to 3 man Honor Guard team to fold and present the flag, if there is a team available. To receive a 21 gun salute, the veteran must have at least 20 years of combined service or die during active duty and be buried in an area that has a full Honor Guard team assigned to it.
Burial at Sea
All veterans are eligible for burial at sea, both those in a metal casket and those who have been cremated. We can assist you in making these arrangements.
Note: All benefits listed above assume that the veteran was honorable discharged and the family has a copy of the military discharge papers (DD-214). There may be other VA benefits available for survivors. It is best to contact the local VA office directly to determine eligibility and other benefits. Contact the Veterans Affairs Regional Office, 210 Franklin Road, SW, Roanoke, VA 24011, or call 1-800-827-1000.
Local Veterans Assistance
The Tidewater Area office can be reached by calling (757) 455-0814. This agency will provide information regarding paperwork, transportation and counseling regarding government benefits that are available to family members of retired military personnel.
Obtaining a DD-214
Call the Veterans Administration at (800) 827-1000, to obtain a request form, complete the form, and mail the form and any other requested information to: National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132.
Active Duty Assistance
Active duty personnel, who need financial assistance, may be able to obtain help through the Navy/Marine Corps, Relief Society. They can be contacted by calling (757) 423-8830 or visiting their office at 7920 Hampton Blvd., Norfolk, VA 23505.
Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS)
Notify the DFAS at (800) 435-3396 if the surviving spouse was receiving an annuity for the Survivor Benefit Plan (SBP), Reserve Component Survivor Benefit Plan (RCSBP), Retired Serviceman’s Family Protection Plan (RSFPP) or “Forgotten Widows Annuity.”
Civil Service Retirees
If the survivor was a Civil Service retiree or receiving an annuity from the federal government, notify the U. S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) at (724) 794-8690.
Thrift Savings Plan
If the deceased participated in the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), contact the Federal Retirement Thrift Board at (504) 255-6000.
Military Fraternal Groups
If the deceased was a member of a military fraternal group, such as the Fleet Reserve Association (FRA), The Retired Officers Association (TROA), The Retired Enlisted Association (TREA), The American Legion or Disabled American Veterans, please notify the organization.
Walton Funeral Home may also assist with the various applications.