By David Ring, President, Indiana Funeral Care
“My husband is under hospice care and is a veteran. I’ve heard all kinds of things about veteran’s benefits, can you help me?” Yes, we can!
Every honorably discharged veteran AND spouse AND dependent son or daughter is entitled to a free grave, free opening and closing of the grave, free outer burial container and free marker in any National Cemetery. In Indiana, you may choose from Marion National Cemetery, in Marion, New Albany National Cemetery, (cremated remains only) and Indiana Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Madison, Indiana. This is the most valuable benefit, worth thousands of dollars! Unfortunately, Crown Hill Cemetery, Indianapolis, the VA section is closed to new burials.
If your loved one passes away in a VA Medical Center or their care was contracted and paid for by the VA (such as hospice care), you are entitled to reimbursement for a $734 burial or cremation allowance, cost of transportation from the place of death to the funeral home and transportation from the funeral home to the cemetery (local or closest National Cemetery). If the death occurred after July 7, 2014, this benefit will only be paid to the legal next of kin. In other words, you will have to pay the funeral home and wait for reimbursement from the VA.
Benefits for veterans receiving a support or service connected disability are more complicated. If you or your veteran, spouse does not have a copy of the honorable discharge papers (called form DD214 since the 1960’s) you should complete a request form to obtain that important document.
Please feel free to call or e-mail us for assistance with any veterans benefits questions and applications. Indiana Funeral Care is the Veterans Funeral Care provider for the State of Indiana and has the Exclusive Endorsement of The American Legion, Department of Indiana.