The loss of a loved one is one of the most traumatic life experiences we encounter. When death occurs at home and if the deceased was not under the care of a physician or hospice, you should contact your local law enforcement. Once a determination of death is made by a justice of the peace or physician, call Walker & Walker as soon as possible.
If the passing occurs at home and your loved one is under hospice care
Contact the hospice. A hospice nurse will respond to your home and make the pronouncement of death. Ask the nurse to contact Walker & Walker at 936-687-2255. Our personnel will arrive at the home immediately.
If the passing occurs at the hospital, hospice, nursing home, or assisted living center
A nurse or physician will make the pronouncement of death. Ask the nurse to contact Walker & Walker at 936-687-2255. Our personnel will arrive at the facility immediately.
If the passing occurs and the medical examiner is involved
If the medical examiner decides to perform an autopsy, he or she will take your loved one into care. Please complete and send the appropriate release form to us or give us a call for assistance at 936-687-2255.
If a sudden death occurs outside a health care facility
The best advice is to call 911. The police will then determine the appropriate steps to take depending upon the particular situation.
If the death of a family member is anticipated
It is wise to begin thinking about the final arrangements in advance. We frequently meet with the family prior to the death to begin the process of gathering the needed information and discussing the services. This way the family is not overwhelmed at the time of death. If you wish to start the process, please give us a call at 936-687-2255.
For a death away from home
Call us immediately so we can begin the process. It is not necessary for you to contact a funeral home in another city, because additional expenses will incur to the family. We can make all the necessary arrangements through funeral directors we work with throughout the state. We will need basic information from you and will ask you to set a time for arrangements at our funeral home.
Social Security Benefit Information
Social Security survivors’ benefits help ease the financial burden that follows a worker’s death. Almost all children under age 18 will get monthly benefits if a working parent dies. Other family members may be eligible for benefits too. Anyone who has worked and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes has been earning survivors’ benefits for his or her family. The amount of work needed to pay survivors’ benefits depends on the worker’s age at the time of death. It may be as little as 1.5 years for a young worker, and no worker needs more than 10 years of work.
Who Can Get Survivors Benefits?
The following family members can usually get benefits: widows and widowers age 60 or older; widows and widowers at any age if caring for the deceased’s child(ren) who are under age 16 or disabled; divorced wives and husbands age 60 or older, if married to the deceased for 10 years or more; widows, widowers, divorced wives, and divorced husbands age 50 or older, if they are disabled; and unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending high school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren; grandchildren; adopted children; or high school full time children over age 18, if they became disabled before age 22; or the deceased worker’s parents age 62 or older, if they were being supported by the worker.
A Special One -Time Payment
In addition to the monthly benefits for family members, a one-time payment of $255 can be paid to a spouse who was living with the worker at the time of death. If there is no spouse it can be paid to a spouse who is eligible for benefits or a child or children eligible for benefits. This payment cannot be made if there is no eligible spouse or child.
How to Apply for Benefits
You can apply for benefits by telephone or by going to any Social Security office. You may need some of the documents shown in the Information Needed section below. Don’t delay your application because you don’t have all the information. If you don’t have a document you need, Social Security can help you get it.
The National Cemetery directors have the primary responsibility for verifying eligibility for burial in VA national cemeteries. A determination of eligibility is usually made in response to a request for burial in a VA national cemetery. VA Regional Offices will also assist in determining eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery. To confirm your eligibility for burial benefits, please call a veteran’s benefits counselor at (800) 827-1000.