Our Commitment to Our Veterans
When any Veteran dies, we take our responsibility of acknowledging the individual's service to our country very seriously. Our commitment to ensure that each Veteran receives the honor and respect they deserve was recently recognized. Commander Dave Kenney is shown below, presenting a plaque to Mark Cournoyer, in recognition of his on-going assistance and support of the U.S. Navy's Funeral Honors Program.
On September 11, 2011, Mark assisted Commander Kenney with a demonstration of full Military Honors at the Cadet Training Exercise which took place at the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery. While the Navy led the program, all branches of the Military Funeral Honors teams took part in the demonstration.
Please click here to view the demonstration
When a death occurs the paperwork involved can be confusing and overwhelming. At the Cournoyer Funeral Home & Cremation Center, we will assist you in applying for any of the following Veterans Benefits:
Benefits are available to veterans discharged or separated from active duty under conditions (other than dishonorable) who have completed the required period of service, or U.S. Armed Forces members who die during active duty. Spouses and dependent children of eligible living and deceased veterans, and of current and deceased armed forces members, may also be eligible.
Note: The surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who remarried a non-veteran prior to October 31, 1990, and whose remarriage was terminated by death or divorce prior to or on that date is eligible for burial in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who remarried a non-veteran prior to October 31, 1990, and whose remarriage was intact on or after that date, however, is not eligible for burial in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse who remarries a non-veteran after October 31, 1990, is not eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Burial in a National or State Veteran Cemetery
The United States Government provides free burial in a National or State Veteran Cemetery to all those who are eligible. This includes the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many cemeteries have columbaria niches for the inurnment of cremated remains or special sections for burial of cremated remains, if cremation is chosen as the final form of disposition.
Headstones and Markers
The United States Government provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans and eligible dependents anywhere in the world that are not already marked. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, and upright marble types are available to mark the grave of a veteran or dependent in the style consistent with exiting monuments at the place of burial. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria in national cemeteries used for inurnment of cremated remains (some cemeteries charge for marker installation).
Burial at Sea
Burial at sea is not just a tradition that was practiced by the Navy of old. It is a means of final disposition of cremated and intact remains that is offered to and still utilized by active duty, retired, and honorable veterans of all branches of the United States military. Burial at sea services are performed while the vessel is on official maneuvers; consequently, it is impossible for the family to be present. The family is notified by the commanding officer of that vessel of the date, time, longitude, and latitude of the committal service.
Individuals eligible for this program are members of the uniformed services, veterans discharged under honorable conditions, United States civilian marine personnel of the Military Sealift Command, and dependents of members, retirees, and veterans of the uniformed services.
Our Local Port of Embarkation
Newport, Rhode Island
Newport, Rhode Island 02841-5003
Presidential Memorial Certificate
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation's grateful recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed, and the certificate bears the signature of the President and the presidential seal in gold foil.
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
The United States Government provides a burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at the time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility is also established when death occurs in a Veterans’ Administration facility or a nursing home which the Veterans’ Administration contracted, and additional costs of transportation of the remains may be reimbursed in those cases. Claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
What Are VA Burial Allowances?
VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service-related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot interment allowance.
Who Is Eligible?
You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:
- you paid for a veteran's burial or funeral, AND
- you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer, AND
- the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
- the veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
- the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
- the veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
- the veteran died in a VA hospital, in a nursing home under VA contract, or while in an approved state nursing home.
For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000, or Visit the VA web site at www.cem.va.gov.
How Much Does the VA Pay?
- Service-Related Death - VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 10, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
- Nonservice-Related Death - VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and a $300 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. The plot-interment allowance is $150 for deaths prior to December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the deceased’s remains may be reimbursed.
United States Burial Flag
The United States Government provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate of the deceased. The staff of Cournoyer Funeral Home will gladly coordinate all of the logistics involved in arranging a service with military honors.
How to Contact the Veterans' Administration
Military veterans and their dependents are entitled to a variety of benefits depending on their circumstances. Once you have determined what benefits can be claimed and you have gathered all the forms and information that apply to you, you may contact the Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000 or reach them through their website, www.va.gov.
Before we can help you file, you will need:
- Certified copy of or original DD214 (Enlisted Record of Separation)
- Certified copy of or original marriage certificate
- Certified copy of Death Certificate
- Verification of amount of life insurance you will receive as a result of veteran's death
- Paid receipts for funeral and cemetery expense
- Paid receipts for hospital and doctor bills incurred by last illness, if applicable
- Social Security number for yourself and your dependent children
- If the veteran or yourself was previously married, you will need a certified copy of or original divorce decree, or a Death Certificate proving the previous marriage was dissolved by divorce or death
- If there are dependent children: For children under the age of 18, or over 18 and still in school, you need certified copies of original birth certificates for each. If the dependent children are over 18 and still in school, you will need VA Form 21-674 filled out.
- If either of you currently receive Social Security benefits, you will need to know the exact amount received for each of you
- If you already have a VA claim number, you must furnish the VA with the claim number you have been assigned
- If either of you receive additional income, the source and exact amount of the benefit must be reported to the VA