Breaking the stigma surrounding death and planning for such life events, Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel shares important details surrounding available memorial benefits for veterans and their families.

Breaking the stigma surrounding death and planning for such life events, Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel shares important details surrounding available memorial benefits for veterans and their families.

Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel offers comfort and guidance in funeral planning for veterans and their families

Learn important information when it comes to veteran funeral arrangements in 2024

Each May, our grateful nation commemorates military appreciation month to honor the contributions and sacrifices of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces; this is topped off by Memorial Day in which we remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. For all of us, including veterans and their families, discussing end-of-life arrangements are a reality and with that comes some misconceptions and more unanswered questions.

To help break the stigma surrounding death and planning for such life events, Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel’s, Erick Scheiderman shares important details surrounding available memorial benefits for veterans and their families.

In recent years, Scheiderman says there has been some confusion surrounding what aspects of one’s funeral arrangements the Veteran Administration (VA) will cover. The misconception that many veterans have is that their final expenses will be paid in full by the V.A. But that is simply not the case. Although there may be some financial assistance available, the veteran must be eligible to receive them and in most cases, will cover only a portion of the total funeral costs in the form of reimbursement to the family. The amount of assistance also varies on a case-by-case basis.

For instance, The VA may cover some funeral expenses if the veteran passed away in a VA hospital or was on the way to a hospital. Another example, which is more prevalent is if a veteran became disabled while “in service” and the severity of the work-related injury exceeds 30 per cent of the veterans’ ability to live a regular life following recovery. Scheiderman says, “the three criteria for eligibility are if a veteran is killed in action, is a retiree who is drawing a pension or if the veteran is at least 30 per cent or more service-connected disabled.”

For veterans who pass away and who are eligible to receive these benefits, Scheiderman says the reimbursement will be provided to the families of the deceased once the proper documentation has been submitted to a regional VA service center, which includes a DD-214, an application for VA Burial Allowance; a copy of the death certificate and a copy of the funeral home Statement of Goods and Services confirming that funeral arrangements have been paid in full by the family.

Veteran services

Other benefits that families of fallen veterans are eligible to receive at no cost include military funeral honors, which may be conducted at a cemetery, church or any other venue...even one’s own back yard. Military Funeral Honors typically consist of a two-man team from the branch of military service in which the veteran served to fold and present a flag to the next of kin, as well as play TAPS. For those veterans who have dedicated much of their lives to the armed forces, they receive full military honors in most cases, which includes a seven to ten-man team acting as pallbearers, flag presenters, a bugler who also serve as a rifle-team, rendering a 21-gun salute.

Additional benefits that families of veterans are entitled to receive also include a standard burial flag, Presidential Memorial Certificate, and a VA Memorial Marker or headstone and/or medallion (if interment takes place in a private cemetery). For those that wish to have their final resting place in a cemetery. The VA also provides interment spaces and memorial markers in any National Cemetery throughout the country for both casketed and cremated remains of the veteran, their spouse and any dependent adult children free of charge. As a full-service funeral home, Sequim Valley Chapel offers veterans assistance to access these memorial benefits.

When it comes to funeral planning, whether you are a veteran or not, Scheiderman says it is best to have a plan in place for when life happens. In doing so, your wishes will be carried out accordingly and costs are inflation proof, easing both the emotional and financial burdens placed on the family.

Related: Honoring life, in death, to advance medical research and education

You can learn more about Sequim Valley Funeral Chapel and how you can pre-plan your final arrangements by calling their knowledgeable and compassionate staff at (360) 683-5242 or visiting www.sequimvalleychapel.com.

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