If you or a family member formerly belonged to the U.S. Armed Forces, you may be wondering what kinds of expenses you can expect the U.S. Veterans Administration (VA) to pick up the tab for as you embark on end-of-life planning. While the VA does indeed cover many funeral expenses, there are several things that you will have to pay for out of pocket or with help from a life insurance policy.
Understanding how to access VA services for burial headstones in Walterboro, SC can help you remove stress and strain from your family members during their time of mourning, and can also increase the amount of inheritance you pass along to your heirs and beneficiaries.
What the VA doesn’t cover
Unless you or your family member dies in active duty, the VA will never cover cremation or embalming costs. Additionally, the VA doesn’t pay for caskets, urns or transportation to the gravesite. These costs are almost always paid for by the decedent or their immediate relatives. In some instances, however, the VA may reimburse family members, depending on the veteran’s individual circumstances.
What the VA does cover
Thankfully, the VA will at least contribute some money to a number of other costs associated with end-of-life planning.
For instance, the VA offers all qualifying veterans the opportunity to have a government-provided headstone. If a veteran is interred in a state veterans’ cemetery, a federal cemetery or a National Park, they can receive a VA headstone. The VA offers flat grave markers, upright headstones, bronze markers and marker medallions.
The VA will also reimburse a number of funerary expenses. If the death is deemed service-related, the VA will pay as much as $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths that occurred after September 11, 2001.
For non-service-related deaths, the VA will pay $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and $300 toward interment expenses.
Unfortunately, the VA will not pay these benefits up front. They will only reimburse family members after the expenses have been paid. For this reason, it’s important to save receipts, contracts and documentation so that you can be properly reimbursed by the VA.
While there is no time limit on claims that can be made for service-related deaths, expense reimbursements for non-service-related deaths must be made within two years of death. Otherwise, the VA will not honor your claim.
Since 1968, Steedley Monument Works has been providing veterans and civilians alike high-quality burial headstones in Walterboro, SC. We are proud to offer an extensive range of headstones and burial markers that meet the needs of nearly every budget and personal style. We are here to help you select a headstone that is consistent with your life and fits within the financial bounds of your end-of-life plan.
We take our work seriously, and belong to a number of industry associations, including the Monument Builders Association of North America. To visit our showroom or to learn more about our extensive range of services, contact one of our friendly and helpful representatives today.