Honoring Their Sacrifice

The Nelson Funeral Home realizes the dedication and sacrifices that all men and women give our country to protect our freedoms. Military veterans and their dependents are entitled to a variety of benefits depending on their circumstances. As a service to each family who has lost a loved one that served in the military, the Nelson Funeral Home will help provide the veteran benefits to the family. Our directors will ensure the veteran will receive his or her entitled benefits: US flag, VA marker, Military/VFW honor ceremony.

The information below was provided to the Nelson Funeral Home by the Otsego County Veteran’s Affairs Office. For additional information, please contact them directly at 989-731-7575.  You can also reach out to the VA at the national level by visiting their website at www.va.gov, or by calling 1-800-827-1000.

VA Burial Allowances:

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments:  (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot or interment allowance.

You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:

  • You paid for a Veteran’s burial or funeral, and
  • You have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran’s employer, and
  • The Veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
  • In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
  • The Veteran died because of a service-related disability, or
  • The Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, or
  • The Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce her/her military retirement or disability pay, or
  • The Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, or
  • The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at a VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, or
  • The Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, or
  • The Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

For details on how much the Veteran’s Administration pays, please contact them directly at 1-800-827-1000 or visit the VA website at www.va.gov.

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation:

Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) is a monthly benefit to eligible survivors of a military service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or veteran whose death resulted from a service-related injury or disease. It also covers veteran whose death resulted from a non-service-related injury or disease, and who was receiving or was entitled to receive, VA compensation for service-connected disability that was rated as totally disabling for at least 10 years immediacy before death, or since the veteran’s release from active duty and for at least five years immediately preceding death or for at least one year before death if the veteran was a former prisoner of war who died after September, 30 1999.

Who is Eligible

The surviving spouse if he or she:
  • validly married the veteran before January 1, 1957,
  • or was married to a service member who died on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training, or
  • married the veteran within 15 years of discharge from the period of military service in which the disease or injury that caused the veteran’s death began or was aggravated, or
  • was married to the veteran for at least one year, or
  • had a child with the veteran, and
  • cohabitated with the veteran continuously until the veteran’s death or, if separated, was not at fault for the separation, and
  • is currently not remarried (note: a surviving spouse who remarried on or after December 16, 2003 and on or after attaining age 57, is entitled to continue to receive DIC.)
The surviving child(ren), if he/she is:
  • not included on the surviving spouse’s DIC
  • unmarried and
  • Under age 18, or between ages of 18-23 and attending school.

Death Pension Benefits

Death pension is a benefit paid to eligible dependents of deceased wartime veterans.

You may be eligible if:

  • the deceased veteran was discharged from service under other tan dishonorable conditions, and
  • he or she served 90 days or more of active duty with at least 1 day during a period of war, and
  • you are the surviving spouse or unmarried child of the deceased veteran, and
  • Your countable income is below a yearly income limit set by law.

NOTE: anyone who enlists after September 7, 1980, generally must have served at least 24 months or the full period for which called or ordered to active duty. Service from August 2, 1990 to present is considered to be a period of war (Gulf War) in addition to other periods of war such as World War II, Korea, and Vietnam.