2022 AFBA Financial Planning Guide

the cemetery of choice at the time of death. Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Assistance can be obtained from the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1–800–535–1117. Arlington National Cemetery. Arlington National Cemetery is under the jurisdiction of the Army. Due to space constraints, eligibility for burial is more limited than at other national cemeteries. For information on Arlington burials, call 703–607–8585. Grave Marker or Headstone. A grave marker or headstone is automatically provided and placed over the grave (free of charge) when a veteran or eligible family member is buried in a national cemetery. If buried in a private cemetery, the VA will provide (free of charge) a government grave marker, but the veteran’s survivors must apply for the marker and pay for placing it on the grave. The maximum allowance for headstones and grave markers is $290 depending on date of death. Burial Flag. The VA will provide a United States flag to drape over the deceased veteran’s casket. After the burial ceremony, the flag is usually given to the veteran’s next of kin, or to a close friend if there is no next of kin. Funeral Honors. Upon request, the DoD will provide military funeral honors for the burial of military members and eligible veterans. The basic ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the American flag and the playing of Taps by either a bugler or electronic recording. The honors detail will consist of two or more uniformed members of the Armed Forces. The DoD maintains a toll-free telephone line (1–877– MIL–HONR) for use by funeral directors who are coordinating the honors ceremony. Reimbursement of Burial Expenses. The VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses if the cause of death is considered service-related. For situations where the cause of death is determined to be non-service-related, the VA will pay up to $828 burial allowance and $828 for a plot if hospitalized by the VA at time of death, or a $300 burial allowance and $828 for a plot if not hospitalized by the VA at time of death, depending on date of death. 6–11. SURVIVOR BENEFITS. Survivor benefits include Dependency and Indemnity Compensation, Survivors Pension, and Educational Assistance. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC). This is a tax-free monetary benefit paid to eligible survivors of

Reemployment Rights. An individual who left a civilian job to enter the Armed Forces may be entitled to return to his or her job after release from active duty. To be reemployed four requirements must be met: a. You must give advance notice of military service to the employer; b. You must not remain on active duty longer than five years unless directed at the convenience of the government; c. You must submit a timely application for reemployment; and, d. You must not have a dishonorable or other punitive discharge. Federal Job Preference. The Veteran’s Recruitment Appointment (VRA) promotes maximum job opportunities for qualified veterans. The law allows agencies to make noncompetitive appointments to federal jobs for certain veterans. Veterans seeking VRA appointments should apply directly to the agency where they wish to work. Additionally, veterans who served during certain periods have federal hiring preferences that include the addition of points to their federal examination scores, priority consideration for certain jobs, and preference for retention during reductions in force. Discharge Review. Each of the services maintains a discharge review board with authority to change, correct, or modify discharges or dismissals that are not issued by the sentence of a general court martial. The boards have no authority to review medical discharges. You may apply for a discharge review by applying to the appropriate military department. 6–10. BURIAL BENEFITS. With few exceptions, every veteran, their spouse, and minor children are eligible to be buried in a national cemetery provided the member completed their required period of service and was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. However, the VA does not make funeral arrangements or perform cremations. Families should make these arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the family’s expense. National Cemeteries. The VA maintains 155 national cemeteries in 42 different states (and Puerto Rico). Funeral directors or others making arrangements should contact


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