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Honoring Veterans

Honoring Veterans

We're proud to do our part in honoring our country's veterans. Our duty is to provide you and your family with professional and dignified assistance during your time of need, and we promise to support you in honoring your loved one for their dedication and selfless service.

Eligibility

Military funeral honors are free of charge and mandated by law for eligible veterans. Eligibility will be verified by the veteran’s DD-214, or discharge papers. Eligible members include:

  • Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve.
  • Former military members who served on active duty and departed under honorable conditions.
  • Former military members who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service in the Selected Reserve and departed under honorable conditions.
  • Former military members discharged from the Selected Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.



Traditional Honors

At minimum, eligible veterans are entitled to the folding and presenting of the American flag to the next of kin and the playing of Taps by a bugler or recording. These honors are performed by an honor guard detail that consists of at least two members of the Armed Forces. One member must be a representative from the branch in which the veteran served, and this member will be the individual who presents the flag.

Honors also can include:

  • A three-volley rifle salute to represent duty, honor, and country
  • The U.S. flag draped over the casket
  • A final salute at the gravesite



Veteran Benefits

In addition to coordinating honors related to the service itself, we can help you communicate with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to arrange for:

  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate: This is a certificate 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.
  • 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, or military cemeteries.
  • Memorial plots: If an eligible veteran's remains are not available for burial, the VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery for memorialization. If you wish to place the memorial in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, the VA will provide the headstone or marker but not the plot itself.
  • Burial in a VA national cemetery: This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a grave box, and perpetual care.
  • Reimbursement of burial expenses: For information on eligibility and the different levels of potential reimbursement, please review their Guide to VA Burial Allowances.



How to apply for a Veterans Burial Allowance

Am I eligible for allowances to help pay for a Veteran’s burial and funeral costs?

You may be eligible for Veterans burial allowances if you’re paying for the burial and funeral costs and you won’t be reimbursed by any other organization, like another government agency or the Veteran’s employer. You must also meet all of the requirements listed below.

1.One of these relationships or professional roles describes your connection to the Veteran. You’re:

  • The Veteran’s surviving spouse (Note: We recognize same-sex marriages.), or
  • The surviving partner from a legal union (a relationship made formal in a document issued the state recognizing the union), or
  • A surviving child of the Veteran, or
  • A parent of the Veteran, or
  • The executor or administrator of the Veteran’s estate (someone who officially represents the Veteran)

2. The Veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge, and one of these circumstances must be true. The Veteran died:

  • As a result of a service-connected disability (a disability related to service), or
  • While getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
  • While traveling with proper authorization, and at VA's expense, either to or from a facility for an examination, or to receive treatment or care, or
  • With an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death, if they would’ve been entitled to benefits before the time of death, or
  • While receiving a VA pension or compensation, or
  • While eligible for a VA pension or compensation at time of death, but instead received full military retirement or disability pay

3. Or the Veteran:

  • Had been getting a VA pension or compensation when they died, or
  • Had chosen to get military retired pay instead of compensation

Note: We’ll also provide an allowance for the cost of transporting a Veteran’s remains for burial in a national cemetery.

You can’t get burial allowances for certain individuals

We don’t provide burial allowances if the individual died:

  • On active duty, or
  • While serving as a member of Congress, or
  • While serving a federal prison sentence



What kind of burial benefits can I get?

If you’re eligible, you may receive these benefits:

  • VA burial allowance for burial and funeral costs
  • VA plot or interment allowance for the cost of the plot (gravesite) or interment
  • VA transportation reimbursement for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains to the final resting place



Note: You'll need to pay for these services or other costs first before you apply for an allowance.



Is there a time limit for filing?

You must file a claim for a non-service-connected burial allowance within 2 years after the Veteran’s burial or cremation. If a Veteran’s discharge was changed after death from dishonorable to another status, you must file for an allowance claim within 2 years after the discharge update.

There’s no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot, or interment allowance.



What documents do I need to send with my application?

You’ll need to send copies of these documents:

  • The Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)
  • The Veteran’s death certificate
  • Any documents or receipts you have for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains
  • A statement of account (preferably with the letterhead of the funeral director or cemetery owner) that has this information:
    • The Veteran’s name, and
    • The type of service or item purchased, and
    • Any credits, and
    • The unpaid balance



As a surviving spouse, do I need to file a claim for burial costs?

No, you don’t need to file a claim as a surviving spouse, as long as you’re listed as the Veteran’s spouse on the Veteran’s profile. When we receive notice of the Veteran’s death, we automatically pay a set amount to those eligible surviving spouses to help pay for the plot, the cost of interment, or transportation of the remains to the cemetery.



Additional Resources

Please visit the following links for detailed information about the options available for honoring service members and other aspects of military funerals:



Malesich and Shirey Funeral Home & Crematory
Phone: (720) 242-6784
5400 Ward Road, Building V Suite 200, Arvada, CO 80002


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