Post Suicide Guide

Information you need to navigate the hours and days after a Veteran suicide.

Vital Information to Limit the Emotional and Financial Damage After a Veteran Suicide

Many of the families we talk to say that the suicide quickly becomes the least of their problems. They are right. Our guide will set expectations for what’s to come and help you find your way through these dark days to better ones ahead.

  • Once you’ve discovered a suicide, call the police or 911.
  • Tell the coroner or medical examiner to include that they were a Veteran who suffered from PTSD. Get it on record.
  • Ask if they can hold the body at the morgue. This will give you up to 2 months to plan the funeral.

Don’t Rush to a Funeral Home – Coroners or Medical Examiners will hold the body for up to 2 months. Get over the initial shock and take your time if there’s no plan that seems good. Once you pick a funeral home and whether to cremate or not, you’re locked into their service or pay a large transfer fee. Average burial even with VA support is $6,000 to $14,000.

Life Insurance Payouts – Most funeral homes will offer to act as a holding/transfer agent for you with the insurance company. They will subtract their fees for your service out of your money. Ask if they charge for that. Don’t like their answer? Contact your agent directly. Their response times can vary significantly.

Biohazard Clean Up – Homeowners insurance may be able to pay or repay the biohazard clean up costs. Landlords or management companies may also have this insurance.

Funeral Homes – Can be helpful, but they are in business to make as much money as possible no matter the circumstances. They should be able to connect with a crematorium if they don’t have one on-site or locally. Many don’t offer that service on-site. They’re also cash and carry – some won’t let you see your loved one until their bill is paid-in-full. It is expensive to move the body from one funeral home to another, even if it is just across town.

Direct Cremations – “A direct cremation all included” is exactly what you should ask for. National average costs range from $800 – $1,500. It is the most affordable service with ashes delivered in one or more urns. Urns start at $75.

Additional Resources

NAMI Support-Groups – This is a nationwide mental health non-profit that offers free virtual sessions and more. All are different but free services are common to all.

County Social Services – Every county in America has a social services office. Call them. They often can help with reasonable funerals and mental health options.

Local Military Nonprofits – Start with the branch related to your Veteran served.

Local Faith-Based Outreach Groups – they can offer financial or emotional support.

TD Foundation
www.TDFoundation.org
They grant modest financial aid like us, and they focus on children’s needs, so reaching out to them if you have kids may turn out good. Check out their website and you want to talk to Tom Deierlein – Co-Founder.

Military Aid Society – offers grants and loans interest free to retired Veterans. There are two main MASs.

Army Emergency Relief (AER)
7117 Baltzell Ave.
Bldg. 7
Ft. Benning, GA
(706) 545-4043
(706) 545-3530 office
(706) 593-8955 mobile
Contact: Lionel Grant – Military Aid Society

Survivor Pension Benefit Info

Find the VFW Near You for Help With VA Claims & Separation Benefits

Navy and Marines Relief Society
There is an equivalent and that information is coming soon. Until then, please reach out to Lionel at Ft. Benning.

VA Service Officer
Craig Bennett
(605) 995-8619Work
(303) 263-5730Mobile
craigb@davisoncounty.org

Craig has many answers about what you’re entitled to.

Go Fund Me – Consider starting a Go Fund Me page. Other families have had success here. Hit or miss but definitely worth the time invested.

Emotional Healing
Your emotional healing may never be complete, but on our site we offer free and drug-free ways to clear your mind and find some peace. Here are some links below to get you started and feel free to roam our blog and the rest of our site for anything that may help.

David Lynch Foundation Resilient Warrior Program for learning Transcendental Meditation consisting of four (4) in-person lessons. They are currently re-activating this program during the pandemic.

TAPS– they are the largest in the nation and it may take a while to hear back from them.

 

Lift the Burden of Veteran Suicide

Your $20 gift helps pay off the family’s funeral bills. Not all families need help. Ours do.

ABOUT ONCE A SOLDIER

Our Veterans are killing themselves in record numbers mostly due to PTSD. An overmatched VA can’t take care of them or their families. We will.

Soldier suicide leaves Veteran families with thousands of dollars of bills unpaid, mostly bank loans.

We are the only nonprofit standing with the families after a veteran suicide. Stand with us.

Our Mission: Become the preferred channel for donors, advocates and volunteers who care about veteran families left behind after a soldier suicide.

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