The Veterans of Foreign Wars is a membership-only club for veterans who served overseas in an active war. The organization is more than 100 years old and maintains club organizations worldwide. The not-for-profit organization provides advisory and financial assistance to many of its qualifying members. One of the many benefits the VFW can provide is assistance for surviving spouses, children and dependents in the event of a member's death.
Life and Accident Insurance
VFW members exclusively receive a no-cost personal accident insurance plan. This provides a $1,000 payable benefit to survivors if the veteran dies within one year of a covered accident. VFW members -- as are all veterans -- are also eligible to enroll in the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance policy. Free financial advice and planning are available through independent companies that provide discounted rates as a benefit of membership. The VFW will help process any necessary forms to ensure a successful enrollment.
Even though all members of the United States Armed Forces are eligible for burial at a decorated national cemetery, VFW members can receive special advisory and planning services not available to nonmembers. The VFW can help ensure the veteran receives such burial benefits as a presidential certificate, American flag, perpetual care and official United States Armed Forces headstone. Most of these services must be requested in advance. The VFW also provides assistance to surviving spouses and dependents to help them receive the benefits they are entitled from the government's VA agency.
The VA system is hard to navigate for most people. The VFW can represent the veteran or surviving family members to assist them in filing the forms needed. Children and spouses often qualify for two different financial death benefits for veterans from the VA. One type of payment is only payable if the cause of death was service-related even though the veterans did not die in the line of duty. VFW members or their families can also receive administrative assistance free of charge in the event of benefit denial.
The VFW's not only assists veterans and surviving family members to file for VA benefits, but it can also request appeal hearings with the VA and the Board of Veterans Appeals. VFW service officers often know and understand current legislation and can help sort through all the government forms to help survivors appeal or obtain death benefits for which they are eligible.