WHAT TO DO WHEN A VETERAN PASSES AWAY
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) realizes the loss of a loved one is a difficult experience. VA has established a streamlined process for families, executors and legal representatives to follow to notify VA about the death of a veteran enrolled in the VA health care system.
WHY SHOULD I NOTIFY THE VA ABOUT THE DEATH OF AN ENROLLED VETERAN?
A. Notifying the VA limits the chance for others to falsely use the Veteran’s identity.
B. By updating the Veteran’s information, you will reduce the likelihood of VA continuing to send you correspondence about VA benefits, services and bills
C. You will be helping VA to maintain up-to- date records, which will enhance the agency’s efforts to better distribute services to the Veteran community.
THE STEPS FOR NOTIFYING VA ARE SIMPLE AND EASY TO FOLLOW
A. Step one is for the next-of-kin and/or legally authorized representative under State law to retrieve an official copy of the Veteran’s death certificate.
B. Step two is to submit the death certificate to VA by:
1. Hand delivering or mailing a copy to the death certificate to the Office of Decedent affairs at the VA medical facility where the Veteran was receiving healthcare benefits, or
2. Contacting the VA Health Resource Center at 1-877- 222-VETS (8387) for additional instructions Copied from U.S. Department of Veterans affairs form IB 10-968, Nov. 2016. It would also be helpful if you would contact any Veterans organizations to which the veteran belonged.
WHAT TO DO BEFORE DEATH
The following is a list of items that the veteran should have in a file, easy to access, in case of death:
A. All Insurances
B. Copy of DD 214
C. Any disability ratings with the VA
D. Retired survivor benefits
E. All deeds
F. List of monthly bills and amounts
G. Social Security Account number
H. List of benefits from other organizations to which the veteran belonged
J. Power of Attorney
K. Deed to burial plots or VA grave approval
L. Funeral desires
M. Burial or cremation wish