A veteran having served in and been honorably discharged from the United States Armed Services may be eligible for Veteran Benefits. Benefits include: free death certificates, burial flag, a Veteran marker, two representatives from the Veterans branch of the Armed Services and the right for burial or inurnment in a National Cemetery. In addition, war time Veterans may be eligible for a County Burial Allowance and in specific situations a Federal Burial Allowance. Application must be made within one year from the date of death.
A Veteran’s spouse, widow or dependent of a veteran may be eligible for free death certificates, burial or inurnment in a National Cemetery and County Allowance providing the widow/widower has not remarried.
The Veteran’s DD-214 (or Honorable Discharge Papers) providing dates of entry and discharge must be provided for application of benefits. Also needed is a certified copy of death certificate for the veteran and if applying for widow/widower benefit a certified copy of their death certificate. The benefit check will be mailed directly from the County and may take several months to process.
The free death certificates must be issued from the PA Dept. of Vital Statistics and may take up to 16-18 weeks to be issued; therefore, it is advised that you purchase Certified Death Certificates from the local registrar, so you may begin to settle affairs. Once the application for free death certificates is filed, you will not be able to obtain additional certificates from the local registrar. Be sure you have ordered enough to take care of the immediate needs such as insurance, bank accounts, pension benefits and to apply for the County Allowance.