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 Social Security Benefits
The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.



ELIGIBILITY
The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.

WHO MAY RECEIVE MONTHLY BENEFITS
A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full time).
Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled. * Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.

LUMP-SUM DEATH PAYMENT
A one-time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:

  • A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death.
  • A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death.
  • A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death.

APPLYING FOR BENEFITS
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.

SOCIAL SECURITY TELESERVICE - DOING BUSINESS BY TELEPHONE
You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.
You may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either in a Social Security office or telephone to apply for benefits, transact other Social Security business, or just ask questions.




Veterans Benefits
Survivors of any person who was an active or retired member of the military at time of death, or an honorably discharged veteran, could be eligible for a number of benefits.




BENEFITS 
  • An American flag (usually drapes the casket).
  • Burial in a National Cemetery.
  • A bronze or granite marker.
  • A lump sum payment of $300.00 is usually available to families of those veterans that were entitled to receive VA compensation or pension at time of death (such as retirees), or veterans who died while a registered patient in a VA hospital or other accredited VA facility. If one of these circumstance's apply and a National Cemetery is not utilized, up to $300.00 could be reimbursed as a plot or interment allowance (requires proof of payment to a non-VA cemetery. Private cemeteries usually assist you by filing this benefit in your behalf). For veterans who die of a service connected disability, the VA could pay an allowance to reimburse funeral costs of $2000.00 or less (no additional VA death benefits would be available). Active duty military personnel are usually entitled to a greater amount, which can vary. This benefit is usually paid by the Department of Defense.
  • If not remarried, the surviving spouse is eligible for burial in the National Cemetery. Dependent children of the veteran are also eligible.
  • Claims for Veteran's Benefits must be filed within 2 years of death by the veteran's family, a non-family member who can prove that the veteran's funeral services are paid, or the funeral director. We will be pleased to make application for these benefits on your behalf if you will provide us with the veteran's Honorable Discharge papers. For VA Assistance and Information, phone 1-800-827-1000 or visit their website at www.va.gov


DFW National Cemetery (http://www.cem.va.gov/CEM/cems/nchp/dallasftworth.asp)
The Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery was dedicated and opened for burials on May 12, 2000. Since opening, more than 5,000 burials have been conducted at the site. The cemetery is situated on a 638.4-acre parcel of land that overlooks picturesque Mountain Creek Lake. The gently rolling hills provide a pastoral setting for visitors as they proceed along the central boulevard to the small lake adjacent to the Assembly Area and Committal Shelters.
The Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery has a Public Information Center (PIC) where visitors can obtain information from an automated kiosk or from volunteers who staff the PIC seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The kiosk contains the names of veterans and their eligible dependents buried at the cemetery. The kiosk their grave location.


Military Funeral Honors
Military funeral honors are provided by a Joint Honor Guard whose members consist of active duty and/or full time reservists from the Joint Reserve Base-Carswell, Fort Worth, Texas. Full military honors are provided to active duty and retired members, a two or four-person detail is provided to fold and present the flag to the next-of-kin of veterans.