There are many benefits available through the United States Government. Most of these benefits will be available through the Social Security Administration, or through the Veterans Administration. I have tried to sum up these benefits on the linking pages, but it is always better to contact your funeral director or one of these agencies directly for up to date information on the benefits which you may be entitled.
Social Security Benefits
Social Security offers benefits other than the well-known retirement benefit. One of these additional benefits is the Lump-Sum Death Benefit. This benefit is usually payable to the spouse of the deceased, and has a maximum amount of $255.00. Since the social security act is constantly under revision, it is best to contact your funeral director or the Social Security Office nearest you.
Social security also offers other dependent benefits, an example is if there are minor children surviving. This is a monthly benefit if the survivors meet certain eligibility requirements When an application is being filed for Social Security benefits it is helpful to have the Social Security card of the deceased, birth certificate, marriage certificate if applicable, W-2 forms, and the previous year's tax return. Proof of death is required for all claims, your funeral director will cooperate by sending in the proper form of the death certificate to the district Social Security office.
Veteran's Death Benefits
There are many benefits available under the Veterans Administration.
These allowances will be paid upon application to all who are qualified to receive them. As with any governmental office, the laws are constantly being revised, so seek assistance from your funeral director or your nearest Veterans Administration offices.
An American Flag is provided for placement on the casket of eligible veterans. Usually your funeral director will obtain this flag for you to have in time for funeral services.
Also, grave space in a national cemetery is available for eligible veterans. This will save you quite a bit of money, as every year the cost of a grave and the grave opening is constantly rising.
A grave marker for any eligible veteran whose grave is unmarked. Again your funeral director or nearest VA office will be able in assisting you with filing for this benefit. The Veterans Administration offers both bronze markers and granite markers. Be sure that these markers meet cemetery specifications before ordering. Although the marker will be delivered free of charge, it is your responsibility to have it placed in the cemetery.
Cash Benefits may also be available if the death occurred while in the service or if the death is a "service connected death". There are other benefits available for eligible dependents of veterans. Please contact your local county or regional VA office for more information.