The Hallett Funeral Home will apply for veteran's benefits on behalf of families of each veteran we serve. Some benefits are available to all veterans who have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions; such as a burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificates, and VA issued headstones and markers. Eligibility for certain other Veteran's benefits are based on each individual veteran's status. You may contact Hallett Funeral Home directly at (508) 398-2285 for more information and help filing any necessary paperwork.
Department of Veterans Affairs Web Site
Massachusetts Veterans Services Web Site
The VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close relative or friend. The VA will also issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. Hallett Funeral Home will complete the flag application forms on your behalf.
Presidential Memorial Certificates
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with an inscription expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The veteran may have died at any time in the past. The local VA regional office generally originates the application for a Presidential Memorial Certificate. The next of kin may also request a certificate. Requests should be accompanied by a copy of a document such as a discharge to establish honorable service.
Headstones or Markers
The VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for interment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank or rate; war service such as World War II; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. Hallett Funeral Home will assist the family in completing paperwork and sending the application to the VA. It is shipped at government expense to the consignee designated on the application. The VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.
The VA cannot issues headstone or marker for a spouse or child buried in a private cemetery. Twenty year reservists without active duty service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of death.
Hallett Funeral Home will help you complete the necessary VA forms and other supporting documents.
Headstones or Markers for Memorial Plots
To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify a grave except that the mandatory phrase "In Memory of" precedes the authorized inscription. The headstone or marker is available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased active-duty members whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery. In such a case, the VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for the benefit.
Burial in VA National Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government's expense.
Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are eligible for burial in one of VA's 114 national cemeteries. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery, even if they predecease the veteran.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death, however reservations made under previous programs are honored.
The Massachusetts National Cemetery is located in Bourne, MA. For more information, please visit the VA National Cemetery Website at http://www.cem.va.gov/CEMs/nchp/massachuetts.asp
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000 if the veteran's death is service connected. VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of a deceased that has available gravesites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran's burial expenses may claim reimbursement from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also is established when death occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home with which VA contracted. Additional costs of transportation for the body or cremated remains may be reimbursed.
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA. The plot allowance is not payable solely on wartime service.
If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials, the $300 plot allowance may be paid to the state. Burial expenses paid by the deceased's employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed.
Eligibility for Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
U.S. Armed Forces members who die on active duty are also eligible, as are spouses and dependent children of eligible living and deceased veterans, and of current and deceased armed forces members. Contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000 for more information.
How do you apply?
Veteran's benefits are not paid automatically. Hallett Funeral Home will assist you with filing the necessary paperwork for those who are eligible. The following information will be needed to complete the paperwork:
Social Security number for yourself and your dependent children
Certified Copy of original DD214 (Enlisted Record and Report of Separation)
Certified copy of Death Certificate
Paid receipts for hospital and doctor bills incurred by last illness, if applicable
Paid receipts for funeral and cemetery expenses
If either yourself or the veteran was previously married, provide a certified copy of the original divorce decree or death certificate proving the previous marriage was dissolved by divorce or death
If there are dependent children, you will need an original birth certificate for each child under 18 or over 18 if a full-time student
If you or the veteran receive Social Security Benefits, the exact amount must be reported
If you or the veteran receive additional income, the source and exact amount must be reported