To be eligible for veterans benefits you must be a veteran discharged or separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable, and have completed the required period of service. 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.
Veterans’ benefits are not paid automatically. It is your responsibility to contact the Veterans Administration. To ensure prompt handling of your claim, have the following information ready:
- Social Security number for yourself and your dependent children
- Certified copy of original DD124 (Enlisted Record and Report of Separation)
- Certified copy of Death Certificate
- Verification of the life insurance amount you will receive as a result of the veterans death
- 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 full-time student
- If over 18 and still in school, you will need to fill out VA Form 21-674
- If you or the veteran receive Social Security Benefits, the exact amount must be reported
- If you already have a VA claim number, you must furnish the claim number you have been assigned
Burial in National Cemeteries: Most Vets and their spouses are eligible for burial in a National Cemetery, including the Dayton National Cemetery. Adkins Funeral Home will be happy to assist any veteran and their family to determine if they are indeed eligible for internment at a National Cemetery.
Burial Flags: A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran’s military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged. Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of Veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays. Adkins Funeral Home will gladly assist the families they service in procuring a burial flag at the time of service.
The VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked 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 also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment 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. 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. Contact your chosen cemetery directly to ask the cost of having your marker set, either on an existing headstone or as a new marker in place of a headstone.
To apply, you must complete VA form 40-1330. Be sure to include telephone numbers and signatures. Use the information on the DD-214 and other supporting documents to help you fill out the application as completely as possible. Forms and assistance are available at VA regional offices.
To apply, mail your application to the Quantico, Virginia, mailing address. You may use either the US Postal Service, or one of the mail delivery services commercially available. Our address is:
Memorial Programs Service (41A1)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903
For information regarding the status of an application, you may call the Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403B3) at 1-800-697-6947 or go to: www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/order_instructions.asp
The VA cannot issue a 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.
Only the following individuals may apply for a headstone, marker or medallion:
1. Decedent's next-of-kin (NOK)
2. Authorized representative on behalf of decedent
3. Authorized representative on behalf of next-of-kin
Presidential Memorial Certificates: A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased Veterans.
This program was initiated in March 1962 by President John F. Kennedy and has been continued by all subsequent Presidents. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) administers the PMC program by preparing the certificates which bear the current President's signature expressing the country's grateful recognition of the Veteran's service in the United States Armed Forces. Eligible recipients include the next of kin and loved ones of honorably discharged deceased Veterans. More than one certificate may be provided.
Eligible recipients, or someone acting on their behalf, may apply for a PMC in person at any VA regional office or by U.S. mail or toll-free fax. Requests cannot be sent via email. Please be sure to enclose a copy of the Veteran's discharge and death certificate to verify eligibility, as we cannot process any request without proof of honorable military service. Please submit copies only, as we will not return original documents.
To Download the application form to receive a PMC, go to: https://www.cem.va.gov/facts/Presidential_Memorial_Certificates.asp
If you have already requested a PMC more than sixteen (16) weeks ago and have not received it yet, please call 1-202-565-4964 to find out the status of your request. Please do not send a second application unless we request you to do so.
Veteran Service Officers and Funeral Homes: If you have questions about the status of a request please contact us at 1-202-565-4964. You may also send request for status by email to [email protected]. Our application form (VA Form 40-0247) is shown above. Please save this form to your computer and make as many copies as you might need.