From the initial concept of a Veterans cemetery program, one operational philosophy has remained constant; to honor our Veterans for their service and sacrifice. With that goal in mind, the Missouri Veterans Commission has created a network of Veterans cemeteries so that every Missouri Veteran will have reasonable access to a Veterans cemetery. Four cemeteries are in operation at this time; Springfield, Higginsville, Bloomfield, and Jacksonville. A fifth cemetery will be located adjacent to Fort Leonard Wood in 2009.
Interment services are provided to Veterans, their spouses, and eligible dependent children. There is no charge for any of the services provided. These services include opening and closing of the grave, provision of a concrete grave liner, upright granite headstones, full military honors for the Veteran, and perpetual care. Those who choose cremation have the choice of in-ground burial or placement within a columbarium niche. Pre-registration for future planning purposes is also available for Veterans and their eligible family members.
Eligibility criteria is the same as that for a national cemetery. The Veteran must have been discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable and have completed the required period of service as required by law. Members of the Reserve or National Guard also qualify for interment if they are eligible for retirement pay as a result of 20 years creditable service. There is no residency requirement for interment in a Missouri Veterans Cemetery. U.S. Citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States during wartime may also be eligible.
Pre-planning for future burial is available at each of the cemeteries. You may do this by contacting the Veterans cemetery nearest you or by submission of the pre-certification application.
Scheduling of interments
Interment services are conducted Monday through Friday on hourly intervals. Scheduling is coordinated by the funeral and Veterans cemetery. If you have specific questions about scheduling procedures, please contact the nearest State Veterans Cemetery.
Veterans Service Program Benefits
The following is a brief description of benefits available to Veterans, surviving spouses and dependents.
Compensation is a benefit paid to a Veteran who was injured while on active duty. How much money you make or the value of your net worth has nothing to do with this particular benefit. So if you were hurt while on active duty, even if it was not the result of combat, you can file a claim for a service connected (S/C) disability. If the VA approves your claim for a S/C disability and you are rated by the VA at 10% or higher, the VA will pay you COMPENSATION. In other words you will be compensated for the injury you received while serving your country.
Pension is an income based benefits that requires at least 90 days of active duty service prior to 1980 and at least one day of that service must have been during a declared war time period. After 1980 it requires 2 years of active duty service and again at least one day during the war time period. Since it is an income based benefit you must fall within guidelines for your monthly income and for your total net worth. You also have to be over 65 years old OR in a nursing home OR be permanently and totally disabled at any age, and have an honorable discharge.
If you are the widow/widower of a Veteran, who’s death has nothing to do with his/her service, you may be eligible for DEATH PENSION: To be eligible your income must fall within the guidelines and the Veteran must have the required military service time as stated above. Age, being in a nursing home, or being permanently disabled, which are qualifying factors for the Veteran, does NOT apply to the widow/widower.
Dependency & Indemnity Compensation (DIC)
For a survivor to be eligible for DIC the Veterans death must have resulted from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on active duty or active duty for training. An injury incurred or aggravated in the line of duty while on inactive duty training. A service connected disability or a condition directly related to a service connected disability. DIC also may be paid to survivors of veterans who were totally disabled from service connected conditions at the time of their death, even though their service connected disabilities did not cause their death. The survivor qualifies if the veteran was continuously rated totally disabled for a period of 10 years immediately preceding death. Continuously rated totally disabled from the date of military discharge and for at least 5 years immediately preceding death. Surviving spouses of a veteran who died on or after 1/1/93 receive a basic rate, plus additional payments for dependent children.
Health Care Benefits
You may be entitled to receive medical care and prescription through the VA health care system. Service connected Veterans are eligible to receive VA health care and Many non- service connected Veterans are also entitled to VA heath care. You can apply for VA health care benefits by submitting a VA Form 10-10EZ to the nearest VA medical center or through your local Veteran Service Officer. Other benefits include education, ChampVA, nursing homes, cemetery, home loans, Voc Rehab.
Missouri Veterans Home Benefits The Missouri Veterans Commission provides the following benefits to eligible Missouri veterans:
- Seven modern well-equipped Veterans Homes located throughout the State.
- Each Missouri Veterans Home has a secured special care unit with specialized programming for dementia care.
- In addition to excellent food, Missouri Veterans Homes provide medical and skilled nursing care; recreational and rehabilitative therapy; social services and pastoral services.
- The maximum monthly rate is fixed each year by the Commission. On a case-by-case basis the rate can be adjusted if financial hardship is documented.
Operation Outreach Benefits
The following is a brief description of some of the benefits available to Service Members, families and Veterans.
Financial resource coordination for deployed or recently returned Service Members, families or Veterans whose financial difficulties can be tied to deployment or in-service injury.
Transition assistance and referrals for Service Members, familes or Veterans who are having difficulties re-entering their households and communities.
Legal referral assistance for legal issues as a result of service commitment.
Job retraining referrals for those affected by a deployment injury.
Advocacy for appropriate medical care for those possibly affected by Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or Traumatic Brain Injury.
Education referral for Service Members, families and Veterans.
The Missouri Veterans Commission has launched a one-stop veterans and military benefits portal, to aggregate private, local, statewide and national benefits and resources for Missouri veterans and military members. The portal allows military families to access resources across the state. Currently, the portal is divided into 14 areas, including legal, mental health, and health care benefits and resources. Click here.