Social Security benefits may be available to certain family members of the deceased. Contacting Social Security as soon as possible helps to ensure that the family receives all of the benefits to which it may be entitled.
Eligible family members may include:
• A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
• A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under age 16 or disabled;
• An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or age 18 or 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school);
or age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;
• Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and
• A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.
Please visit: www.ssa.gov/survivorplan for valuable information about Social Security (death) benefits.
You may also call the Social Security Administration toll-free at 800-772-1213, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. An automated phone service is available 24 hours a day. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the TTY number at 800-325-0778.
Take comfort in knowing that you have planned ahead so that your surviving loved ones will only have to carry out your wishes.
| Pre-Need Arrangements
Today, more people are recognizing that planning a funeral in advance demonstrates love and consideration toward their family members. It is a thoughtful decision that reduces the stress of indecision and uncertainty when death occurs. The death of a loved one is a time of great loss and stress on family and friends. Advance planning helps reduce the impact, allowing your loved ones to devote more time to coping and understanding their loss and less time concerned with funeral arrangements and financial details.
Morris Funeral Home is a licensed pre-need provider. We provide these services free of charge. We will guide you through the process of pre-planning a funeral service. Various options for creating your Pre-Need Funeral Account will be explained to you in detail. More importantly, pre-need funeral arrangements are inflation proof. In other words, you lock in the cost of the funeral services at today’s prices.
Why Pre-Plan or Pre-Arrange?
Whether you’re trying to ease the stress on your family or simply choose your own preferences concerning your funeral service, many people pre-arrange because they want “peace of mind” in knowing there will be adequate funds to cover funeral expenses. It also helps reduce the impact of inflation, which would otherwise increase the cost of your funeral.
Most importantly, pre-need arrangements guarantee that rational decisions can be made ahead of time.
What steps are involved?
Morris Funeral Home will assist you by explaining your options and guiding you in establishing your own plans. You may find the advice of your family, clergy and/or friends helpful at this time. We will record certain vital information and gather documents for required forms. You may wish to select a casket, urn, burial vault, and other items associated with your service during your Pre-need Arrangements Conference.
Once all of your selections have been made, we will discuss the payment options that are available to you. A record of your selections will be kept on file at our funeral home until needed and you will be given a copy for your records.
Reimbursement of Burial Expense:
If the veteran’s death is service connected, the VA will pay a burial allowance of up to $1,500, as well as the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest to the home of the deceased, if gravesites are available.
The VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at the time of death, were entitled to a pension or compensation or who would otherwise have been entitled.
Eligibility also is established when death occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home with which the VA has contracted. Additional costs of transportation of the remains may be reimbursed. There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-connected deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation. Contact the VA directly for eligibility and reimbursement guidelines.
The VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran or person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or close associate. The VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. Flags are issued at the VA regional offices, national cemeteries, and post offices.
For more information on Veterans’ (death) benefits, please visit: www.va.gov (see Survivor Benefits and Burials & Memorials).
Victims’ Compensation Fund - SOVA
If your loved one was a victim of a crime, funeral/burial expenses may be covered (up to $4,000) under SC law. If you think the State Office of Victim Assistance may be able to assist you, please contact them via the web: www.sova.sc.gov (see Victims’ Compensation Fund and covered burial expenses) or phone at:
Phone: (803) 734-1900
Fax: (803) 734-1708
Victims Only: 1-800-220-5370