This page is dedicated to our veterans and to remind veterans and their families of the survivor benefits that may be available to them.
In New York State, the County Veterans Service Agencies, in cooperation with the Veterans Administration, provide guides for the veteran's family that will help them maintain the necessary records and how to claim any veteran benefits that may be applicable.
To contact our local V.A. office:
Ulster County Veterans Service Agency
300 Flatbush Avenue, Kingston, NY 12401
Telephone: (845) 338-8443
Here are some suggestions:
1. When arranging the veteran's funeral, furnish the funeral home with a copy of the veteran's Military Discharge Certificate or Report of Separation (DD Form 214), Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Claim Number (if known) and the veteran's Social Security number.
2. We will assist the veteran's family in securing any Veterans Administration burial benefits, and will also handle arrangements for burial in a national cemetery.
New York State National Cemeteries:
Bath National Cemetery
Cypress Hills National Cemetery
Calverton National Cemetery
Woodlawn National Cemetery
Long Island National Cemetery
Gerald B. H. Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery
3. We will apply for the United States flag to drape or display in the casket through the local postmaster using the Veteran's Discharge (DD Form 214).
4. If the deceased veteran was a member of a veterans organization such as the VFW, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, the Commander will be contacted for any ritual service at the funeral home or cemetery ritual. The Veterans of Foreign Wars, Joyce-Schirick Post 1386, Kingston provides a Color Guard/Honor Guard at the cemetery for a gun salute, taps and flag presentation. This service, arranged by the funeral home, is conditional of weather and availability of the Guard. A donation by the family (although not required) to the Post in memory of the veteran may be appropriate.
5. Veterans Administration benefits which may be available include:
1. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (DIC) for spouse or dependent children;
2. Pension for spouse or dependent children;
3. Burial benefits:
- $300. burial benefit for veterans receiving compensation or pension, or who die in a VA Medical Center;
- Burial allowance for honorably discharged indigent veterans who die as a result of a service connected disability or whose remains are unclaimed;
- $300. burial plot allowance or grave for the veteran, spouse and dependent children (where applicable);
- Headstone, grave markers or niche markers.
4. National Service VA life insurance claims.
6. Important documents (originals or certified copies) to have available when applying for assistance:
- Honorable Discharge from the Armed Forces or Report of Military Separation DD Form 214);
- Record of marriage;
- Birth certificates of dependent children;
- Death certificate for the veteran and any previous spouse;
- Veteran's Social Security number and VA claim number;
- Divorce papers (if applicable);
- Adoption papers for dependent children (if applicable);
- Annual family income figures.
(Some of these documents may also be required when filing a survivor's claim with Social Security.)
A death certificate is always required when applying for any insurance benefits. A local county veterans service officer may offer assistance in supplying and completing forms for G.I. Insurance. Some veterans organizations provide insurance on an individual basis: American Legion Life Insurance (1-800-542-5547) and VFW Insurance Dept. (1-800-821-2606).
Veterans and their families should keep all the above-mentioned documents together so that they will be readily accessible to survivors. We can also answer any questions or concerns you may have when a veteran dies. We will help you plan those special rituals that provide the respect that every deceased veteran deserves.
Another helpful resource is the Department of Veteran Affairs.