Veteran Funeral Allowances
Our veterans are one of our country’s greatest treasures. The soldier, the marine, the pilot, and the sailor who has protected us – has demonstrated the true meaning of honor. Each American veteran has done what so many of us are not brave enough to attempt—the hardships of war.
So many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country, while many will grow old and experience a life their comrades never saw. Whether old or young, deceased during active duty or after a long life, such men and women deserve appropriate death benefits. One such death benefit is Veteran funeral allowances, applicable to either cremation of burial interment.
History – Veteran Funeral Allowances
The idea of those allowances goes back to 1636 when the Pilgrims of Plymouth Colony were at war with the Pequot Indians. The Pilgrims enacted a law that committed them to support soldiers disabled in defending the colony. Also, during the Revolutionary War, the Continental Congress of 1776 encouraged enlistments by authorizing pensions for soldiers who were disabled. In 1811, the first domiciliary and medical facility for veterans were authorized by the federal government. Congress established a new system of veterans benefits when the United States entered World War I in 1917.
So, in 1930 Congress established the Veterans Administration to provide services to the veterans of World War I and earlier wars. Then, three existing agencies became bureaus within the Veterans Administration. Major benefits include veteran’s compensation, veteran’s pension, survivor’s benefits, rehabilitation, and employment assistance, education assistance, home loan guarantees, and life insurance.
Burial allowances serve as “partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs”. Any United States veteran who has received an honorable discharge from their respective branch of service is entitled to some amount of VA burial allowance. However, VA burial allowances are rarely enough to cover all funeral costs. Whether the deceased was active duty or retired the allowance hardly makes a dent in the overall funeral cost, depending on applicable stipulations. For instance, a non-military-related death may receive as little as $300 for funeral expenses and $300 towards plot-internment, while an active duty-related death might be allowed up to $2,000.
American veterans deserve better death benefits, and such small allowances can easily leave surviving families looking for more affordable options, while also trying to maintain the dignity and honor that should go hand-in-hand with every veteran funeral.