Benefits Information

Benefits Information

Veterans Benefits

Who is eligible?

To be eligible 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.
 
The memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery. In such a case, VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for the benefit.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription 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. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends. 
 
The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The veteran may have died at any time in the past. The local VA regional office generally originates the application for a Presidential Memorial Certificate. The next of kin also may request a certificate. Requests should be accompanied by a copy of a document such as a discharge to establish honorable service. VA regional offices can assist in applying for certificates.
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Social Security Benefits

The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.

Eligibility

The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death. Those who may receive monthly benefits are:

  • A widow or widower age 60 (50 if disabled) or older or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
  • A divorced widow or widower age 60 (50 if disabled) or older if the marriage lasted 10 years or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
  • Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full-time)
  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled
  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older

Lump-Sum Death Payment

A one-time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:

  1. A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death
  2. A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death
  3. A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death

Applying for Benefits

You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213, and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.

Contact Social Security

You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message, and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.

You may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either in a Social Security office, or telephone to apply for benefits, transact other Social Security business, or just ask questions.

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