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My father is a veteran and he is in bad health. My family is worried about funeral expenses. We just found out that he never had life insurance. Is there assistance for funerals for veterans?

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Hi. All of tthe men in my family have served our country including my step dad that passed away this past Saturday. We found out he didn't have any life insurance. The funeral costs are $7000 and the home wants $5000 the day before the ceremony. They have been together over 12 years but finally got married last September. (which makes their marriage only 5 months) Everywhere my mother is going is saying they can't offer any assistance. Surely he is not the only veteran that didn't prepare himself with insurance. Please if anyone know's anything that can help I truly appreciate it.
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Veterans with honorable discharge can and should receive burial assistance in a national cemetery. There is no compensation for a funeral however, since a funeral is optional. As far as transportation is concerned, I think that you should check with the cemetery, the VA and the funeral home of your choice.
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Hi, the VA does not recognize POAs, so it would not benefit you to have that. But you can get third party rights to speak on his behalf. It does render him incompetent on paper possibly so ask them.

There are forms to file for funeral costs less insurance received, i filled them for my mom last week, and included the cost of cemetary plots.
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singforjoi, you pre-plan with a funeral director that is near him, most will do a free consultation.
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My father lives in a different state. We prefer he be interred with his spouse at Veteran's Wood National. How do we pre-plan for transporting him.
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In my experience as a funeral director, the VA will only pay for headstone and flag for veterans who do not die in a VA Hospital or facility (nursing home). If they do die in VA facility they will pay transportation cost to funeral home and to the cemetery which can be from $500 to more than $1,000 depending on distance. Sometimes there is a benefit to help with interment cost but things have been cut drastically since I began in 1970. Plan in advance is the best advice I can give.
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The Vets get free burials and free markers, flag and service at the cemetery. Cremations are extremely reasonable, if not free also. You don't need a "funeral".
The service can be "graveside", and if you have a church, they will give you free mention in their memorials. Jefferson Barracks is wonderful. Be proud!
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my father just died today. he will be buried at jefferson barracks in missouri but wanted to be cremated but i have no money and they do not pay for him to be cremated. i can not pay for this because i am also losing my home because my father helped me with my payments. what can i do ?
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my father will be at jefferson barracks but he wants to be cremated and they do not pay for that and i have no way to pay ,what can i do?
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I am new to the VA qualifications for a war-time vet. My husband is a Viet Nam vet and nearly died two weeks ago. Thank God he has come around and may recover after all. But it woke me up to "Oh my gosh! What do I do?". He wants cremation and wants his ashes here and there and everywhere. Not possible in most of his choices. But his sisters and I thought long and hard about what would honor his life most. We felt the new Missoula VA cemetary would be perfect for him. He has many fellow veterans of Viet Nam that may be there already.

As a young high school boy he played taps for the Viet Nam Vets at their funerals. It was extremely meaningful for him. He upped for the Navy a couple of years later and made it home safely after 4 years.

I want my cremains to be buried with his. I got the phone number for the VA Cemetary - 406-721-5778. I'm sure they can give me all the information including cost. I hope this was helpful.
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Vets get free burial only.....must have discharge papers. You have to pay for your own funeral., or cremation. Vets get free flag, free marker ( mable stone) with engravings., free upkeep forever in a National Cemetery.
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hey eayala8...wrong info. find another cemetery. go to the national vet's online site. there is FAQ section. There is info there for ALL vets. It may not be much for a vet but it is something. go to the local VA office and ask them or call them and make an appt. Do something but don't listen to whomever it is that you talked too. They apparently don't want to deal with it.

You have to have a copy of the DD214 which is an official paper of their service.
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This really isnt an answer to the original question. Its been well answered with suggestions about a National Cemetery. I wanted to comment on something I found out about here in California. Its appalling to say the least. I was making pre-arrangements for my fathers funeral one day. I asked them if there was a senior or veterans discount as I was locking in todays prices for the services. I was told no senior discount. Okay I said. What about consideration for veterans? I was told by the cemetary that they dont have any provisions for those who served our country...BUT if the deceased is a gang member or died in a gang related killing then the state will pay for a $9000 funeral! I was shocked. Reward the gangs but do nothing for our nations veterans....what is wrong with this picture?
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Mom is buried via the VA because of my dad's Navy service. She was cremated, and so will he. I think it cost $500 for her cremation, plus they engrave the marker.
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This was all very helpful. What about military wives? Thank you.
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Besure to visit military cemetery in your state. Inquire at the office about various "spaces". Visit those spaces and you can see for yourself where your relative will be interred. There is no charge for a qualified vet ( must have papers) and no charge for the beautiful marble headstone with engraving of your choice.
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I think he can be buried in a va cemetary free, $250 for help in private burial, nothing right now for cremation. The last time I checked anyway.
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You're right!
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A veteran is entitled to a free burial in a veteran's cemetary, with full military honors. It also will include a headstone. As a bonus, if a spouse wants to be buried with her deceased husband, she can be buried fora minimal price. My mom will be buried with my dad upon her death. There is a $400 fee for opening and closing the gravesite. They willadd the spouses name and dates of birth and death onto the headstone at no extra cost.
Of course, the surviving spouse will have other burial costs that the veteran didn't have to pay such as the funeral home costs.
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HERE'S A LINK FOR YOU. http://www.vba.va.gov/bln/21/pension/vetpen.htm#7
There are conditions that must be met.
A very small financial benefit is available, however you can request a Military funeral at a Military cemetary or representation of flag and gun salute at your local cemetary. Contact local VA. It's a volunteer program Vets do for other Vets.
A veteran cannot receive both Aid and Attendance and Housebound benefits at the same time, but they can receive a penion and ONE of these benefits. The paperwork is extensive and you'll have to provide many documentation. Once submitted the benefits if granted are retroactive to applying because processing can easily take 6 mos. I don't recommend doing it yourself because IF THERE IS AN ERROR in the application, lacking proper documentation, or not completely filled out, you have to start all over and it is not considered retroactive anymore since it was wrong. CONTACT your LOCAL V.A they have staff that will help you.
If your Mother gets sick, and your Father qualified for these benefits, she qualifies also if conditions are met. Yes, spouses qualify whether vet is alive or dead providing the vet meets the standard for benefits.
I hope this helps.
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The Veteran's Administration has a wonderful website - http://www.va.gov/
In the left hand column, you will see 'Benefits' - check out the 'burial benefits' in that section.
Although, sometimes it takes awhile, you may be surprised at what all is available for veterans.
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For burial in a national cemetery you must provide "Discharge Papers" from the branch of the military in which he served. These can be obtained from the VA by mail. Once you have these, the rest is easy. Just call the national cemetery nearest your home, in state or out of state, and tell them that you want a burial there. Funerals at a Funeral Home are not covered.
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My father did some research before he passed away
about veterans' burials. His burial was in a veteran's
cemetary, completely free. He wanted to be cremated,
which cost less than $1,200.
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First things First...
If you do not have Power of Attorney for your father and he is unable to get to a VA Office with you, then you may be unable establish his eligibility. You should also have any information that will help you and him confirm his Veteran status such as birth certificate, SS Card, Medicare Card, and any Military records such as discharge papers etc. This may not only open the door to funeral benefits but to VA health care benefits as well. (These days it costs a lot more to live with assistance than to pay for a funeral)
Next Step...
Speak with Funeral Directors in your area. Some will offer special plans for Veterans and it is their business to know what assistance is available for families in your situation. A little pre-planning goes a long way when the time comes. But proceed with caution. Ask for references and deal with Businesses that have been around a long time. Just because their clients have never complained, does not mean that their business is upright and honest.
Last Step...
If he is willing and able, get your father involved in the funeral planning exercise. This may sound morbid, but most people--especially Veterans--find consolation in knowing that their final days are not going to leave their family with grief and a big financial burden.
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There are a few benefits for veterans. We have found that you do best if you go to a Veteran's office. There is probably one not too far from you. There are definitely death benefits. Some include the wives of veterans - sometimes that depends on whether the veteran served during war time. Lots of factors involved. I think you will do well to sit down with someone face to face. Good luck!
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