Perhaps one of the most noble and selfless life paths a person can take is military service. Not only do service people risk life and limb, but they sacrifice precious time with their loved ones. As a result, the families of veterans are called upon to sacrifice as well, whether in lost time, income, peace of mind, help in running a household, etc.
Fortunately, the government acknowledges these sacrifices and understands that in order to truly honor veterans, we must extend support to their families, even after a veteran has passed on.
Spouses and dependents of deceased veterans are often eligible for substantial assistance, and oftentimes a veteran’s DD-214 form is the key to receiving them.
This may be the first time many families realize the need for their veteran’s discharge papers, since any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for a military honors funeral, which includes the folding and presentation of the flag and the playing of Taps.
Not only that, but the VA will pay up to $300.00 toward burial and funeral expenses ($762.00 if hospitalized by the VA at time of death) and a $762.00 plot-interment allowance, if the deceased won’t be buried at a national cemetery.
The VA also offers $300.00 toward burial plots for the cremated remains of eligible veterans, as well as an additional $300.00 for those who died in a VA facility ($2000.00 more for those who died of a service-related injury or during active duty).
In the event the deceased will be interred at one of the VA’s 135 national cemeteries, interment, burial plot, headstones or markers and perpetual care are free for eligible veterans, their spouses and dependents.
Typically, funeral homes, cremation centers and cemeteries will take care of most of the details when provided with a veteran’s DD-214.
VA-Backed Home Loans
Surviving spouses of eligible veterans who need help refinancing, purchasing, building or home improvement may qualify for one of three special programs: Purchase Loans, Cash-Out Refinance Home Loans and Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans.
Applicants must first apply for a Certificate of Eligibility by filling out and submitting a VA Form 26-1880 (available on www.va.gov), along with a copy of the decedent’s DD-214.
If you’re the surviving spouse or dependent of a veteran who suffered a service-related permanent and total disability or one who died in the line of duty, you may qualify for CHAMVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs).
According to www.va.gov, CHAMPVA “covers most health care services and supplies that are medically and psychologically necessary.” When applying, the VA also recommends sending a DD-214 form, if applicable, to expedite processing.
What If You Can’t Find Your Veteran’s DD-214 Form?
It’s a common problem. So common, in fact, the National Archives’ free service, eVetRecs, processes thousands of requests per day, which typically translates to long wait times, back-and-forth communications and considerable frustration.
There are times in life when you shouldn’t have to wait, especially when you’re planning a funeral. DD214Direct.com was established for circumstances just like these. Our three-tiered pricing makes it easy for you to decide just how quickly you need your papers.
And our courteous, professional team goes to work for you immediately, leveraging a profound knowledge of the National Archives procedures, and uncommon determination, to hone in on your records and deliver them to you as quickly as possible (even by email!).
Be sure to visit https://explore.va.gov/spouses-dependents-survivors in order to see what other types of benefits surviving spouses and dependents might qualify for. But in the meantime, why not order your DD-214 the easy, stress-free way today?