Veterans Benefits

Cash Benefits

Funeral Home Allowances Veteran Discounts

At Vay-Schleich & Meeson, we offer Veterans and their families up to a $500 credit on our services and merchandise. This discount applies to Veterans and their spouses.

This is just another way we salute our fallen heroes and their families. Please ask one of our directors for more information.

Veteran Administration Benefits Reimbursement of Expenses

VA burial allowances are partial cash 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
  • A plot or interment allowance

Who is Eligible?

To be eligible you must be a veteran discharged or separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable, and have completed the required period of service. U.S. Armed Forces members who die on active duty are also eligible, as are spouses and dependent children of eligible living and deceased veterans, and of current and deceased armed forces members.

How Do You Apply?

Call us. Veteran’s benefits are not paid automatically. We will contact the Veterans Administration and apply for all benefits on the Veteran’s behalf. Generally, all we need to begin the process is a copy of the Veteran’s honorable discharge (DD-214).

How Much Does the VA Pay?

Service-Related Death

VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after 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

For deaths on or after October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $700 toward burial and funeral expenses (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).

If the death happened while the Veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the Veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.



Cemetery Benefits

We understand that these cemeteries may be a small drive for you. Remember, it is an honor to be buried in a National Cemetery! They are owned by the American people for the exclusive use of Veterans and their families.

All honorably discharged Veterans, their spouses and dependent children are entitled to free grave space, cemetery marker, grave liners and perpetual care in a National Cemetery. This benefit can save your family thousands of dollars.

National Cemeteries

Bath National Cemetery

Bath National Cemetery is located in Steuben County, N.Y., just 80 miles South of Rochester. The cemetery is adjacent to the Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

The cemetery was originally a part of the New York State Soldiers and Sailors Home, which was established in 1877; the cemetery was dedicated in Dec. 25, 1879. In 1930, the Soldiers and Sailors Home and cemetery became two integrated components of the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC). When 82 national cemeteries were transferred from the Department of Army to the Veterans Administration in 1973, the Bath VAMC Cemetery became part of the National Cemetery System and was designated appropriately. Bath is the final resting place of the “first and oldest” U.S. MIA’s (Missing in Action).

Currently, Bath National is accepting both casketed and cremains interments.

Woodlawn National Cemetery

Woodlawn National Cemetery is located in Elmira, N.Y., in Chemung County, just 100 miles south of Rochester. The cemetery is next to Woodlawn City Cemetery.

In 1861, Camp Rathbun, near the town of Elmira, was established as a training camp at the beginning of the Civil War. As the Union troops who trained there were sent to their respective assignments, the camp emptied and in 1864 it was turned into the Elmira Prison prisoner-of-war camp. The facilities were not adequate to house the thousands of Confederate prisoners, and many succumbed to exposure, malnutrition, and smallpox. Nearly 3000 men were subsequently interred at the cemetery. Woodlawn National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 6, 2004.

Woodlawn Cemetery has space available for cremated remains in a columbarium. It can accommodate casketed remains of subsequent family members in the same gravesite of previously interred family members.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery is under the jurisdiction of the Department of the Army and performs 27 to 30 funeral services each day. The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served our nation by providing a sense of beauty and peace for our guests. The rolling green hills are dotted with trees that are hundreds of years in age and complement the gardens found throughout the 624 acres of the cemetery. This impressive landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery accepts the cremated remains of all Veterans, spouses & dependent children for inurnment in its columbarium at no cost. As for full body burial, interment is limited to recipients of the Purple Heart, Silver Star, Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Cross, Distinguished Flying Cross and Medal of Honor. Any Veteran of any rank who has twenty year’s service (retired) is also eligible.

Learn more about Arlington National Cemetery:

Veteran Memorial Cemeteries

Sampson Veteran Memorial Cemetery

Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery (SVMC) is located on 162 acres along the eastern shore of Seneca Lake in the pristine, glacier-carved Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York. The cemetery is on the site of the former Sampson Naval Training Station and Sampson Air Force Base; one of the most historically significant military sites in the Finger Lakes Region, having served more than 1 million servicemen and women.

SVMC opened in 2009 and is managed and operated under the direction of the Seneca County Economic Development Corporation. Although they operate under VA National Cemetery guidelines, the cemetery is not funded by Federal, State, or County resources at this time. In the near future, the cemetery hopes to become a federally funded National Cemetery, or the first VA funded New York State Cemetery.

Sampson Veterans Memorial Cemetery accepts both casketed and cremains interments.

Headstones & Markers

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) supplies a Government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, at no cost. Our staff will make all the arrangements on the deceased Veteran’s behalf for the ordering and placement of the appropriate marker.

Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available for in-ground burials. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark the inurnment of cremated remains.



Flag Retirement Program

Flag Retirement

We are often asked about the proper disposal of a worn American flag.

According to the United States Code, Title 4 Chapter 1, Section 8, “The flag when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.”

We Want to Help Our Community Dispose of Flags Properly

Our family has created our community’s first flag retirement campaign, appropriately named, “Retire Your Flag With Honor”. When flags are no longer worthy of display, please bring them to us.

We have drop off boxes at each of our locations, which are available for use 24 hours a day and 365 days a year.

Through a partnership with Feher Rubbish Removal, we have also installed a utility container at our Greece Location. This container is used exclusively for flag retirement and will ease the burden of Posts, VFW’s, and other Veteran organizations when taking in large amount of flags.

When flags are available, we will cremate them with an honorably discharged Veteran or make sure they are properly disposed of. This is a fitting tribute to Veterans and it’s a patriotic way to “retire” aged and tattered flags.

There is no charge for this service.

Flag Etiquette

The Flag

  • Should never be in the dark
  • Should not be used for any decoration in general
  • Should never be used for any advertising purpose
  • Should not be used as part of a costume, except as part of military, fireman or police uniforms
  • Should never have any mark, insignia, letter, word, number, etc. placed on or attached to it
  • Should never touch the ground
  • Should be folded appropriately when stored
  • When a flag is no longer fit to serve, it should be destroyed by burning in a dignified manner

Flying the American Flag

  • Raise the flag briskly
  • Lower it ceremoniously
  • Do not fly in bad weather, unless it is an all-weather flag
  • The flag can only be flown at night if properly illuminted, otherwise, it should only be flown from sunrise to sunset
  • The flag should always be allowed to fall free
  • Never fly the flag upside down except to signal an emergency