Peaceful Reflections Cremation. Since 2008
For Veterans that served in the U.S. Military. They may be entitled to burial benefits. If they’re a disabled Veteran or a Veteran receiving a Veterans pension, they may also qualify for reimbursement of some burial expenses. The amount of this reimbursement benefit is determined on an individual basis by the VA.
All Veterans with an honorable discharge may currently be entitled to:
Many families of deceased veterans take advantage of interment benefits available through the Veterans Administration National Cemetery System. FREE grave space for interment of cremated remains is available in any one of a number of VA National cemeteries located throughout the country.
All honorably discharged veterans, their spouses and minor children who have been cremated are eligible for interment in a national cemetery. In addition, certain members of the Reserve Component of the Armed Forces, World War II Merchant Marines and Commissioned Officers of NOAA and the Public Health Service may also eligible. For a complete listing of eligibility requirements contact your local veterans affairs office or visit the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery System Web Site.
There is no charge for interment of cremated remains in a National Cemetery. Cremated remains may be interred in either an in-ground grave, a garden niche, or placed in a columbarium depending upon the family’s preference. Please note that not all National cemeteries provide for each of these three interment options. A complete listing of VA National Cemeteries and telephone numbers can be found at https://www.va.gov/find-locations.
Peaceful Reflections will assist in arrangements for an interment in a National Cemetery as part of our service. Normally, all that is required to begin making these arrangements is a copy of the official military discharge document or a Form DD 214. Peaceful Reflections will forward the required documentation to Veterans Administration and a tentative date for interment will be set. Cremated remains may not be delivered to the cemetery until interment eligibility is verified and the arrangements are confirmed.
Once these arrangements are confirmed, the cremated remains may either be hand delivered to the cemetery by the family or Peaceful Reflections or shipped directly to the cemetery office via US. Postal Service.
Please note that memorialization in a National Cemetery is available only on an at-need basis at the time of death. Eligible veterans may not reserve burial or niche space in a National Cemetery on a pre-need basis.
Section 578 on the National Defense Act provides free military honors for eligible veterans whose families request them. The law includes a basic military funeral honor ceremony consisting of the folding and presentation of the American flag and the playing of Taps. The military detail performing this ceremony will consist of two or more uniformed members of the military, with at least one member representing the branch in which the veteran served. Each military branch may also include additional elements of the ceremony such as a rifle volley. In most cases, Peaceful Reflections will handle the details of scheduling the military ceremony if we assisted the family in setting up and coordinating the memorial service. For more information about military honors, you may visit the Department of Defense web site at https://www.militaryonesource.mil/military-life-cycle/veterans-military-funeral-honors/military-funeral-honors-the-essentials/.
If burial of the cremated remains takes place in a National Cemetery, the VA will provide a free granite or marble headstone or a granite, marble, or bronze marker. If burial takes place in a private cemetery, the VA will provide a free headstone consistent with the cemetery requirements.
All Veterans, from any branch of the services, are entitled to a free scattering by the Navy.
If you need to contact the Veteran’s Administration, you may visit www.va.gov. You may also contact VA’s benefits department at (800) 827-1000.
VA benefits can change without notice. For confirmation of benefits, please contact the Veterans Administration directly.
Peaceful Reflections is available to assist you in coordinating these benefits.
If the deceased was receiving benefits, Peaceful Reflections will notify Social Security to report the death. If you think you may be eligible for survivor’s benefits, you should contact them to apply.
How Social Security helps families
Social security survivor’s benefits help ease the financial burden that follows a worker’s death. Almost all children under age 18 will get monthly benefits if a working parent dies. Other family members may be eligible for benefits, too.
Anyone who has worked and paid social security (FICA) taxes has been earning social security benefits for his or her family. The amount of work needed to pay survivors benefits depends on the worker’s age at the time of death. It may be as little as 1 1/2 years for a young worker. No one needs more than 10 years.
Who can get survivors benefits?
Here is a list of family members who usually can get benefits
Widows and widowers age 60 and older
Widows and widowers at any age if caring for the deceased’s child(ren) who are under age 16 or disabled
Divorced wives and husbands age 60 or older, if married to the deceased 10 years or more
Widows, widowers, divorced wives, and divorced husbands age 50 or older, if they are disabled
Children up to age 18
Children age 18 – 19, if they attend elementary school or high school full time
Children over age 18, if they became disabled before age 22
The deceased worker’s parents age 62 or older, if worker was supporting them
A special one-time payment
In addition to the monthly benefits for family members, a one-time payment of $255 can be paid to a spouse who was living with the worker at the time of death
If there is none, it can be paid to:
A spouse who is eligible for benefits
A child or children eligible for benefits
This payment cannot be made if there is no eligible spouse or child
As a service for you, Statement of death by Funeral Director will be sent to the Social Security Administration by Peaceful Reflections.
How to apply for benefits
You can apply for benefits by telephone or by going to any social security office. You may need some of the documents shown on the list below. But don’t delay your application because you don’t have all the information. If you don’t have a document you need, social security can help you get it.
- Your social security number and the deceased worker’s social security number
- A death certificate. Generally, the funeral director provides a statement that can be used for this purpose.
- Proof of the deceased worker’s earnings for last year (W-2 forms or self-employment tax return.)
- Your birth certificate
- A marriage certificate, if you are applying for benefits as a widow, widower
- A divorce decree, if you are applying for benefits as a divorced wife or husband
- Children’s birth certificates and social security numbers, if applying for children’s benefits
- Your checking or savings account information, if you want direct deposit of your benefits
You will need to submit original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to the office. Social security will make photocopies and return your documents.
Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
If you are 65 or older, disabled, or blind, ask the social security representative about supplemental security income (SSI) checks for people with limited income and resources. If you receive SSI, you may also qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and other social services.
For more information
For more information, write or visit any social security office, or phone the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. You can speak to a representative weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
If the deceased was receiving social security benefits, any checks that arrive after death will need to be returned to the social security office. If social security checks were being directly deposited into a bank account, the bank needs to be notified of the death, too.