The Zizelmann-Gulla Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc. will file for all burial allowances and benefits. If a funeral home other than ours handled the funeral, we will still assist you in filing for the benefits.
Veterans are entitled to receive several different types of benefits and services at the time of death from the county, the state, and the federal government. Eligibility varies with the type of benefit available. At a minimum, benefits require a copy of the veteran’s discharge (Form DD-214) or an equivalent prior to application.
- Certified copies of birth and death records are issued without cost to veterans and their dependents by the Division of Vital Statistics. The certificates must be ordered through the state and are not available via the local Registrar.
- The veteran is entitled to a flag which is used to drape the casket during services and is typically presented to the family at the graveside. Please note that a flag is also provided by the government for cremation services.
- A headstone or marker can be applied for to mark the grave of the deceased veteran. For deaths after September 11, 2001, markers will be provided by the government even if the grave is already marked by a private headstone. In lieu of a marker, a medallion is available and can be adhered to a private headstone (see below).
- Military Honors are provided by the branch of service in which the deceased had served. The honors vary depending on eligibility; however, a minimum of two members of the armed services will be provided (if requested by the family) to fold and present the flag and, if so desired, to play Taps. This program requires 48 hours notice prior to the burial date and the request must be accompanied by Form DD-214.
- Veterans and their spouses may be buried in a National Cemetery at no cost to the family, although there are additional requirements for eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery. Refer to Arlington’s guide here.
- If the veteran was receiving veteran’s compensation (i.e. has a Claim Number) or died at or on route to a VA Facility, a $300 burial allowance may be available to the family. Additionally, a $300 interment allowance may be payable for burials in cemeteries other than national cemeteries. Transportation charges for removal from the place of death and/or charges for transportation to the cemetery may also be paid for by the government. Finally, if a veteran is receiving a service connected disability, a total amount of up to $2000 (rather than the $600) may be payable towards funeral expenses.
- The Department of Veterans Affairs offers a medallion to be affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased's status as a veteran. If requested, the medallion will be furnished in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or marker for veterans that died on or after November 1, 1990, and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. The medallion is currently available in three sizes, 5 inches, 3 inches, and 1 ½ inches. Each medallion will be inscribed with the word VETERAN across the top and the Branch of Service at the bottom. Appropriate affixing adhesive, instructions, and hardware will be provided with the medallion. This benefit is only applicable if the grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. In these instances, eligible veterans are entitled to either a traditional Government-furnished headstone or marker, or the new medallion, but not both.
The county in which the veteran lived (not the county in which the veteran died) is the county that provides the benefits. All county benefits require that the veteran had served active duty for at least one day during the following time periods of war:
WWI: April 6, 1917 to November 11, 1918
WWII: December 7, 1941 to December 31, 1946
Korean Conflict: June 27, 1950 to January 31, 1955
Vietnam: August 5, 1964 to April 7, 1975
Lebanon: August 25, 1982 to February 16, 1984
Grenada: October 23, 1983 to November 21, 1983
Panama: December 20, 1989 to January 31, 1990
Persian Gulf: August 2, 1990 to a yet undetermined date
For eligible veterans, the following county benefits are available:
- A death benefit towards the cost of burial. Currently, the benefit is $75 in Schuylkill County and $100 in Carbon County.
- A death benefit for the un-remarried widow/widower of a veteran. Currently, the benefit is $75 in Schuylkill County and $100 in Carbon County.
- A payment towards the installation of a federal government headstone or marker. Currently, this benefit is $40.
- A bronze flag holder/grave marker and flag for use at the cemetery. Our staff requests these from the county veterans affairs offices prior to Memorial Day in order to have them placed on the past year’s deceased veterans’ graves in time for Memorial Day observances.
A death related to Armed Forces service may qualify a surviving spouse, child, or parent with limited income to Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. A surviving spouse or child may also qualify for a death pension if the income limits are met.
Application for survivor benefits can be arranged through your local Veteran's Service Office. You can contact your Director of Veteran Affairs as follows:
Schuylkill County Courthouse
Office of Veteran Affairs
401 North 2nd Street
Pottsville, Pennsylvania 17901
Carbon County Courthouse
Department of Veterans’ Affairs
PO Box 129
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229-0129
You may also contact the National Center for Veteran Affairs at (800) 827-1000 or www.va.gov for questions regarding federal benefits. For all VA Insurance inquiries, contact:
Veterans’ Insurance Office
5000 Wissahicon Avenue
PO Box 7208
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19101