– To help ensure that local veterans and their families have all the information available to help them at the time of burial, Rep. Marguerite Quinn (R-Bucks) has introduced legislation in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives to better educate them about burial benefits from the U.S. Veterans Administration.
“Far too often, veterans, their family members and other loved ones may not be aware that benefits regarding their passing and burial may be available to them,” said Quinn. “This is especially true for local veterans who may not be aware about the national veterans cemetery at Washington Crossing, right here in Bucks County. These veterans sacrificed so much to protect our freedom and defend our democracy, that I believe more should be done to ensure veterans are aware of all the benefits they have earned.”
House Bill 2583
would require funeral directors, pre-need or cemetery companies to provide information regarding the availability of VA burial benefits. The information shall include but not be limited to the following:
- VA burial benefits and allowance.
- Internment in national cemeteries.
- Presidential memorial certificates.
- Military funeral honors.
- Flags to be draped over caskets.
- VA-provided headstones and markers.
Quinn learned about this gap when talking to family members who were unaware of these benefits at the time of planning a loved one’s funeral. She also learned that in some circumstances, incorrect or misleading information was mistakenly given to veterans regarding the availability of burial benefits.
To take this legislation a step farther, Quinn also seeks to require entities to give notice of the planned internment of a deceased veteran so that the county may provide the families with the burial benefits each county has the responsibility to provide. Her proposal would also require that this information be made available when a veteran or anyone acting on his/her behalf purchases funeral merchandise or a burial plot.
“During a time of bereavement, families and loved ones need to have the reassurance that those who are taking care of a veteran’s final arrangements also have the best and most recent information to give to them,” Quinn noted. “We owe it to our veterans, who have earned their benefits, to ensure that correct and timely information regarding burial benefits is provided.”
The bill was referred to the House Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee for review.
Representative Marguerite Quinn
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Jennifer Keaton