The Grimes County Veterans of Foreign War (VFW) Post 4006, 1575 W. Washington Avenue in Navasota will host a workshop Friday, Aug. 12, to educate veterans, their families and surviving spouses about benefits for which they may qualify upon a veteran’s death.
According to workshop facilitator, Post Commander Hal Reed, topics will include why veterans and survivors do or do not qualify, how much they can receive, what the death benefits are and what services are available. Reed will also discuss the difference in benefits if a veteran is buried in a national cemetery as opposed to a private cemetery, the military honor guard and 3-gun salute.
Have that talk
Veterans and their families are not immune to avoiding those uncomfortable discussions about death benefits and funeral planning but knowing how to navigate those waters goes a long way in allowing survivors to properly grieve.
Reed said, “If a veteran is in end-of-life care or hospice care, contact the Veterans Affairs (VA) and start the paperwork rolling for death benefits. Decide where you’re going to place the veteran. Have that talk. It’s always good to know ahead of time what are the wishes of the veteran. Does he want to be cremated, does he want to be in a casket, does he want to be at the national cemetery, does he want a private plot, or does he not want to be buried at all and just spread the ashes? Those are the things that we consider.”
Assistance can be obtained from a Veteran Service Officer at the VFW, the VA, the American Legion or through the county.
Reed said, “They’ll get down to the nitty, gritty of determining if the reason the veteran passed away is service related. That leads to widow and survivors benefits and those are something we have to file separately.” Reed advised that the
Reed advised that the DD214 and death certificate, when available, are documents necessary for funeral planning and filing for benefits.
Timely filing critical
Filing for survivor benefits in a timely manner can be critical for survivors of veterans with a service-connected death. According to Reed, in the last 90 days, Grimes County has lost six veterans.
Reed said, “The sooner you file for it, the better off you are. Don’t wait because you’re not going to get back pay.”
He continued, “Seventy-seven percent of all widows have no idea these benefits are there. They just think when he passes away, the benefits he was getting will pass to her. That’s not the way it works. What I’m doing is giving you the information you should have. This is what you need to plan for and this is what you can expect to get. He continued, “That way, when they walk into the VA, they will know this is what I’m due and this is what we’re supposed to be getting and you need to take care of it. We’re here if you don’t want to do this on your own.” The workshop is scheduled
The workshop is scheduled from 1-3 p.m. and Reed will be available afterward to work one-on-one with veterans and/ or their families. Popcorn and water will be provided.
E-benefits set for Aug. 26
Post 4006 will review E-Benefits at a workshop Aug. 26.
As to what’s covered, Reed said, “How to log on, how to get that set up. A lot of people don’t want to do it but it’s required now. You can’t get replacement DD214s or award letters if you get disability, or request military or medical records without it now. The paper request takes so long and gets lost in the shuffle. That’s how they want you to apply for disability. It’s a digital world and