What is the Lump Sum Social Security Death Benefit and Who is Eligible to Receive the Benefit?

The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) helps families in need by dispersing federally-funded funds to either a surviving spouse or child.  The one-time lump sum benefit amount is $255.  It is paid to a surviving spouse who was living in the decedent's household at the time of death, or, if living apart, was receiving social security benefits on the decedent's record. If there is no eligible spouse, the payment may go to a child who was eligible.

You can apply for this benefit by calling the Social Security National Toll-Free Service at 1-800-772-1213. You may also visit your local social security office. To expedite the process, you should be ready with these documents listed below:

  • Death certificate

  • Birth certificate or other proof of birth

  • W-2 forms(s) and/or self-employment tax returns from the previous year

  • Final divorce decree, if applying as a surviving divorced spouse; and

  • Marriage certificate

To help you in determining your eligibility, please take the SSA's Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

At Kramer Family Funeral Home, we will assist you in notifying the Social Security Administration of your loved one's passing in a timely manner. We will be happy to answer any additional questions you may have. 

What Benefits are Available to Veteran Families?

The Veterans Benefit Administration offers burial and memorial benefits to families of deceased veterans. Any deceased Veteran discharged under honorable conditions and any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies on
active duty are eligible for these benefits.

Please note that this information is provided as a courtesy to our veteran's families. We are unable to assist with coordinating these benefits. The family is required to contact their local Veteran's Service Organization office directly to begin the process of these benefits.

Interment in a National Cemetery

Burial benefits at no cost to the family include a gravesite in any VA national or state veteran cemetery with available space, headstone or marker, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care of the grave, and burial flag.

In Utah, the state veteran cemetery is Utah Veterans Memorial Cemetery. It is located at 17111 S. Camp Williams Road, in Bluffdale, Utah.

Arrangements are made at the time of death; a space may not be reserved in the national cemetery ahead of time.

Spouses and dependents of the veteran may also be buried with the veteran, receive perpetual care, and their name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family. They may be buried at the cemetery even if they precede in death before the eligible veteran.

Interment in a Private Cemetery

An eligible veteran may receive a Government-furnished headstone or marker or medallion at no cost to the family for placement at a private cemetery. At this time, this benefit is not available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.

Reimbursement of Burial Expenses

An allowance is provided to families of deceased eligible veterans for burial expenses. In order to qualify for this allowance, one of the following conditions must be met:

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, AND

  • 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 while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR

  • The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR

  • The Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR

  • The Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

NOTE: VA does not pay burial benefits if the deceased:

  • Died during active military service, OR

  • Was a member of Congress who died while holding office, OR

  • Was a Federal prisoner

Evidence Requirements: 

  • Acceptable proof of death as specified in 38 CFR 3.211., AND

  • Receipted bills that show that you made payment in whole or part, OR

  • A statement of account, preferably on the printed billhead of the funeral director or cemetery owner. The statement of account must show:

    • The name of the deceased Veteran for whom the services and merchandise were furnished, AND

    • All credits, AND

    • The amount of the unpaid balance, if any


Burial Benefits - 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: a burial and funeral expense allowance, and a plot or interment allowance. A single payment is made when the cause of death is service-related.

SERVICE CONNECTED BURIAL: VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001, or up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 11, 2001. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.

NON-SERVICE-RELATED DEATH: VA will pay up to $700 toward burial and funeral expenses for deaths on or after October 1, 2011 (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $700 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery). For deaths on or after December 1, 2001, but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance. For deaths on or after April 1, 1988 but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (for Veterans hospitalized by VA at the time of death). 

An annual increase in burial and plot allowances for deaths occurring after October 1, 2011 begins in fiscal year 2013 based on the Consumer Price Index for the preceding 12-month period.

Burial expenses paid by the deceased’s employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed.

You may apply online using the Veterans On-line Application, or visit the Salt Lake City Regional (VA) Benefit Office at 550 Foothill Drive, Salt Lake City, UT 84113


Burial Flags

A United States flag is provided at no cost to eligible veteran families. It is furnished to memorialize the veteran and is draped over the casket at burial, or accompanies an urn.  Please inform the funeral home that you would like to obtain a flag and we would be happy to assist you.


For more information, please visit these helpful sites

National Cemetery Administration-Burial Flags

Veterans Benefits Administration-Burial Benefits

Why All Cremations Are Not The Same

Kramer Family Funeral Home & Cremation Center is a full service funeral and crematory. Every task is performed in house which means your loved one never leaves our care.

Most Funeral Homes don't have a crematory.  Most funeral homes have to pay a 3rd party to perform a cremation. This means that your loved one is sent from one funeral home to a different funeral home that has a crematory. 

It appears that for every 25 funeral homes there is 1 crematory. Not every funeral home can perform the cremation on-site. Which means your loved one may be moved outside of the funeral homes care. Thus not every cremation is the same. 

 Cremation rates are expected to substantially grow over the coming years. It's important that families are aware which funeral homes in their area have a crematory on-site, and which funeral homes have to outscource the cremation to an outside party.