Planning Your Legacy
Multiple services at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center have teamed up with other programs to inform Veterans and their family about benefits available regarding end-of-life planning.
Twice a year, a community outreach event is held to present this information to Veterans in-person. While the topics surrounding end-of-life issues aren’t glamorous, they are some of the most important decisions you can make for yourself and your loved ones. The VA offers tons of benefits that may save you money and ease any anxiety over providing for your family after you’re gone. Have a plan and know what benefits are available now!
In-Person Outreach Events
The Office of Decedent Affairs assists the family in the handling of their love one’s remains, and processes paperwork for release from the hospital morgue to their selected Funeral Home.
Survivor Benefits Kit – Booklets are available to family members of deceased Veterans.
- Provides information on headstones/markers, burial benefits, Survivor’s Pension, Special Monthly Pension Benefits, and more!
- Examples of how to fill out forms for different benefits
- To access these benefits, you must have copies of the Veteran’s death certificate, and the DD-214.
- More information can be found online here, or by calling Veterans’ Benefits at 1-800-827-1000.
- Booklets can be found at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center in SICU, MICU, 5N, 6N, 6S, the Chaplain’s office, and the Office of Decedent Affairs (A144)
Chaplains offer comfort, guidance, and peace to patients by helping them understand their place within the context of humanity and their own spiritual journey. They also provide expert interventions to explore these areas and bring meaning and healing - for patients, for the people who matter to them, and for the palliative care team.
- Ensure 1st Amendment Rights of the Free Exercise of Religion
- Respect Veteran faith traditions
- Protect Veteran from proselytization (evangelizing)
- Support Veteran spiritual journey
- Explore with Veteran moral and religious questions and concerns
Pastoral and Spiritual Care is an important part of overall healthcare needs. The Chaplain Service offers a program of meaningful spiritual and pastoral care designed to nurture the spirit of Veterans and their families, including:
- Spiritual Assessments
- Spiritual Guidance
- Family Care/Counseling
- Crisis Counseling
- Grief and Emotional Support
- Suicide Prevention
- Bible Studies
- Spirituality Groups
- Worship Services
- Holy Communion
- Sacrament of the Sick/Anointing/Last Rites
Phone: 513-861-3100 ext. 206307, or 204149
Dayton National Cemetery
The National Cemetery Administration honors veterans and eligible dependents with final resting places in national shrines. We offer interment options for both caskets and cremations as well as a location to have a committal service including military honors for Veterans.
4400 West Third Street
Dayton, OH 45428
Phone: 937-268-2221 ext. 0
HOC Navigators, the expanded network of Hospice of Cincinnati, includes advanced illness, hospice, and grief programs. Our goal is to meet Veterans where they are and offer services to guide them through their unique advanced illness and end of life journey. This may include utilizing both VA and hospice services concurrently, if appropriate.
Social Work Service
Social Work Services provides a variety of services including:
- Palliative Care/Hospice Referrals
- Advance Directives
- Referrals to Community Resources
- Long-Term Care options
- Adult Day Care/Nursing Home Placement
- Inpatient Discharge Planning
- Referrals to Mental Health Services
- Substance Abuse Services
- Homeless Programming
Phone: 513-861-3100 ext. 206329, or 201664
Veterans Benefits Office
Release of Information (Medical Records)
Medical records—for individuals or authorized entities—can be requested from the Release of Information (ROI) department. We assist Veterans with completing authorization forms and providing information on what is required to have records sent to insurance companies for death benefits. We also assist with ensuring a medical record is up to date with the correct next-of-kin information.
Two different forms are available:
- VA Form 10-5345a – First party requests (for yourself usually)
- VA Form 10-5345 – Third party requests (For a third party like a non-VA provider, attorney, etc.)
- All requests must be submitted in writing. No verbal or emailed requests can be processed.
Records can be requested 3 ways:
- In Person: walk-in at the main campus
- By Mail or Fax: Send VA Form 10-5345a or 10-5345 to ROI Office
- Via Blue Button on myHealtheVet Home - My HealtheVet - My HealtheVet (va.gov)
Military records, like DD-214, are kept by the National Archives and can be requested via their website: https://www.archives.gov.
Cincinnati VA Medical Center
Attn: Release of Information 136B
3200 Vine Street
Cincinnati, OH 45220
Office Hours: 8am – 4:30pm
Veterans Transportation Program
The Veterans Transportation Program processes travel claims for eligible Veterans to and from appointments, including ambulance trips. There are strict eligibility requirements, but we will help you to determine a Veteran’s eligibility so there are no surprise ambulance bills.
Phone: 513-861-3100 ext. 204380