Did you know that only 20% of veterans and surviving spouses who are eligible for veterans benefits actually receive them?
Many veterans and their families miss out on life-changing benefits because they aren’t aware of the available benefits or their eligibility. Eligible veterans and family members often lose their rightful benefits because of the frustrating and complex application and approval process. To make matters worse, many eligible veterans or eligible surviving family members apply for benefits but are unjustly denied!
Why Fight For Your Benefits?
Veterans benefits are essential to estate planning, as the benefits can extend to your surviving spouse and dependents after you are gone. Veterans benefits also help you avoid stress when it comes to living expenses and medical care in St. Petersburg, FL.
Veterans Benefits Overview
Veterans and their families can be eligible for:
- Death Gratuity
- Veterans Funeral Benefits
- Veterans Health and Dental Care
- Pension Programs and Veterans Pensions
- Dependency Compensation
- Retiree Benefits
- Tragedy Assistance Program
- Veteran Disability Compensation
- And a variety of survivor benefits
Surviving widows of qualifying veterans are entitled to:
- Dependency and Indemnity Compensation
- Death Gratuity
- Death Pension
- Basic Allowance for Housing
- Household Goods Shipping and Storage
- Veterans Burial Benefits
- Gold Star Lapel Button
- ServiceMembers Group Life Insurance
Qualifying veterans can receive pensions to help ease the financial stress of daily life, as outlined by Military Benefits. In addition to monthly pension, you may be entitled to the “Aid and Attendance” benefit if you require the aid of another person to perform daily activities, if you are blind or have specific visual impairments, or you are a patient in a nursing home due to physical and/or mental incapacity.
Service members are entitled to life insurance through ServiceMembers’ Group Life Insurance. Depending on the benefit amount you want to provide to your family, you can supplement this with another life insurance policy. If you die because of an injury or illness incurred or aggravated during your service, your survivors may be entitled to additional benefits, according to Military One Source. Some benefits are automatic, but your family must apply for others, which is important to remember while for the future.
Burial and Funeral Expenses
The VA pays up to $2,000.00 for burial expenses for service-related deaths on or after September 11, 2001. Some or all of the cost for transportation of the deceased may be reimbursed if the veteran is buried in a Veterans’ National Cemetery.
For non-service-related deaths, the VA pays up to $300.00 for burial and funeral expenses and a $300.00 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. Some or all of the costs for transportation of the remains from a Veterans Affairs nursing home or hospital to a cemetery may be reimbursed.
Veterans and their spouses are entitled to a plot at a National Cemetery and arrangements can be made for a color guard or burial with honors if the veteran is eligible. However, veterans are not required to be buried in a National Cemetery. Veterans may be buried in a location of their choice and their estates may still receive allowances for burial and funeral expenses.
Benefits for Children and Spouses
Veterans and their spouses may have unique estate planning considerations, especially if they have children. Children of qualifying veterans are entitled to benefits, although they often do not know how to or are not able to take advantage of them.
To help ensure that your loved ones receive their benefits, part of your estate planning process should include instructions regarding how these benefits can be accessed, along with documentation of your military service. Written instructions should outline the various benefits to which your children may be entitled, including support payments, educational opportunities, and counseling services. From there, the executor of the will or the guardian of your children can begin to do some research to determine what children are entitled to. The VA department called the Office of Survivors Assistance can help with benefit identification and coordination.
In your estate planning documents, you should also provide information on where the executor or guardian can find your records so that your survivors can enjoy their benefits.
Claim Your Veterans Benefits!
Many veterans benefits are available, but 70% percent of eligible veterans and families never take advantage of them. An estate planning attorney can help incorporate the benefits you’re entitled to into your estate plan, and help protect the rights of your loved ones.
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Tampa, FL 33607