New Program Helps Vet Families Obtain Benefits

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — State health and Veterans’ Affairs officials are teaming up in a new program aimed at helping veterans’ families obtain benefits.

The Department of Health said Wednesday that Florida is one of the first states to develop a program giving funeral directors the ability to notify the certifying physician that the decedent may have a service-connected disability.

The veteran’s spouse or other family members may be entitled to VA compensation and other benefits if the service-connected condition was the underlying cause of death or a contributing factor. Survivors need a death certificate indicating the cause of death was service-connected when applying for the benefit.

Florida has one of the largest veteran populations in the U.S. with more than 1.5 million.