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Tribal Veteran Representatives Timothy Spain Director, First Notice of Death Office 1.

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Presentation on theme: "Tribal Veteran Representatives Timothy Spain Director, First Notice of Death Office 1."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tribal Veteran Representatives Timothy Spain Director, First Notice of Death Office 1

2 Briefing Agenda Burial benefits overview Veterans cemeteries in Indian Country Opportunities to establish new cemeteries through VA’s Veterans Cemetery Grants Program 2

3 Our Mission The National Cemetery Administration honors Veterans and their families with final resting places in national shrines and lasting tributes that commemorate their service and sacrifice to our Nation. 3

4 Our Vision To be the model of excellence for burial and memorials for our Nation’s Veterans and their families. 4

5 American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) In 2013, NCA again achieved the highest ranking of any participating organization Fifth consecutive time in 13 years! 5

6 % of Veterans Served Fiscal Year *By an open national, state or tribal Veterans cemetery within 75 miles of home 6

7 Veterans serving Veterans -Over 74% of NCA employees are Vets -Highest % in any Federal agency -Includes 450+ returning Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans Serving Veterans National Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal Vietnam Service Medal Southwest Asia Service Medal Kosovo Campaign Medal Afghanistan Campaign Medal Iraq Campaign Medal Global War on Terrorism Exp. Medal Global War on Terrorism Service Medal Korea Defense Service Medal Armed Forces Service Medal Humanitarian Service Medal 7

8 Outreach We use the Web, Twitter, Facebook, applications for handheld devices, and face-to- face contact to reach Veterans, families and the funeral industry 8

9 Targeted Outreach Outreach, FY12/13 -National Congress of American Indians Annual National Convention -Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, Indian Trader's Market -SAIGE Annual Training Conference -USET Semi-Annual Meeting American Indian representation on Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Cemeteries and Memorials 9

10 Improving Cultural Competency Increasing workforce representation of American Indians/Alaska Natives in NCA -More than doubled from FY Still underrepresented, though Longstanding relationships with SAIGE, American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES) and Minority Access, Inc. to assist with AI/AN recruitment and retention 10

11 Our Responsibilities Provide burial space for Veterans and eligible family members and maintain national cemeteries as national shrines Administer the Federal grants program for construction of state and tribal Veterans cemeteries Furnish headstones, markers and medallions for the graves of Veterans around the world Administer the Presidential Memorial Certificate program Administer the First Notice of Death program 11

12 Caring for our History Navajo code talker Roy Hawthorne stands next to the code talker monument unveiled March 21, 2013 at Santa Fe National Cemetery, New Mexico (Photo credit: Eddie Moore/ABQ Journal) 12

13 Strategy to Meet Burial Needs of Veterans Extend the service life of existing cemeteries New Columbarium Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery, St. Louis, MO 13

14 Strategy to Meet Burial Needs of Veterans Develop new national cemeteries Five new national cemeteries planned Urban initiative Rural initiative Sarasota National Cemetery, FL 14

15 Future National Cemetery Construction Omaha, NE Tallahassee, FL Scottsmoor, FL Western NY area Southern CO area New York City area Los Angeles area Chicago area San Francisco area New National Cemetery Urban Initiative Indianapolis area 15

16 Rural Initiative MT ID WY NV UT ND WI ME National Veterans Burial Grounds 16

17 Burial Benefits Gravesite Opening and closing of the grave Grave liner Perpetual care of the gravesite Headstone, marker or medallion U.S. Flag Presidential Memorial Certificate Years of Keeping the Promise

18 18 Any member of the U.S. Armed Forces who dies on active duty Any Veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable National Guard members and Reservists with 20 years of qualifying service, who are entitled to retired pay Spouses and minor children Certain eligible parents (Corey Shea Act) Eligibility Criteria

19 19 H.R. 3219, Veterans’ Benefits Act of 2010 Allows a parent whose child gave their life in service to our country to be buried in a national cemetery with that child when their veteran child has no living spouse or children Increase burial and funeral benefits and burial plot allowances for Veterans who are eligible for a burial at a national cemetery or who died in a V.A. facility from $300 to $700 Legislation

20 20 On October 13, 2010, Section 502 of Public Law authorized VA to extend burial eligibility in VA national cemeteries to parents of certain deceased service members in the same grave with their deceased service member child. Parent eligibility is not retroactive. The service member must meet each of the following requirements: ○ died on or after October 7, 2001, as a hostile casualty or from training- related injuries; ○ is interred in a VA national cemetery, in a gravesite with available space; ○ and, has no spouse, surviving spouse, or child who is buried, or who, upon death, may be eligible for burial, in a VA national cemetery. The parent must be a biological or legally adoptive parent who died on or after October 13, All eligibility determinations are made at time of need. The “Corey Shea Act” Expanded Eligibility for Certain Parents

21 21 Title 38, United States Code, section 2411 prohibits interment or memorialization of persons who have committed federal or State capital crimes Title 38, Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), section addresses cases where there is a Notice of Conviction Title 38, CFR, section addresses cases where there is no Notice of Conviction due to death or flight to avoid prosecution – e.g. murder / suicides Only applies to the perpetrator and does not affect eligibility of other family members Capital Crime Prohibition Statute

22 22 Veterans and other claimants for VA burial benefits have the right to appeal decisions made by VA regarding eligibility for national cemetery burial or other memorial benefits. A claimant has one year from the date of the notification of a VA decision to file an appeal. The first step in the appeal process is for a claimant to file a written notice of disagreement with the NCA office that made the decision. Following receipt of the written notice, VA will furnish the claimant a “Statement of the Case” describing what facts, laws, and regulations were used in deciding the case. To complete the request for appeal, the claimant must file a “Substantive Appeal” within 60 days of the mailing of the Statement of the Case, or within one year from the date VA mailed its decision, whichever period ends later. Right to Appeal

23 Memorial Programs Service

24 352,365 Headstones and Markers Provided 719, ,094 Presidential Memorial Certificates Medallion 7,470 Provided

25 Headstones and Markers  Application available on line at  FAX applications to  MAIL applications to: Memorial Programs Service (41A1) Department of Veterans Affairs 5109 Russell Road Quantico, VA

26 Veteran Medallion Benefit P.L Became available to the public in June 2010 – Branch of Service – 3 sizes; 5, 3 and 1.5 inches – In lieu of a headstone or marker – Death on or after November 1, 1990

27 Bronze Veteran Medallion Application available on line at VA M.pdf

28 Presidential Memorial Certificate For honorably discharged Veterans Inscribed with the Veteran’s name Bears the President’s signature

29 Presidential Memorial Certificate  Application available on line at  FAX applications to  MAIL applications to: Presidential Memorial Certificates (41A1C) National Cemetery Administration 5109 Russell Road Quantico, VA

30 Communicating With MPS  Applicant Assistance Unit  Toll-Free Telephone Number  Received 86,531 calls in FY 2010  Average Speed of Answer 1:20 (mm:ss)  IRIS  VA’s Internal Routing System that allows NCA/MPS to respond to questions routed from the VA website  MPS  MPS’ address to respond to inquiries from the public

31 First Notice of Death

32 32 “By entering FNOD information, cancelling compensation payments, and communicating with family members. The FNOD program ensures overpayments of compensation are reduced or eliminated, family members receive timely and accurate information concerning possible entitlement to survivor benefits,and medical appointments for deceased veterans are cancelled, thereby freeing up time and resources to serve other veterans.” FY 2013– 705,603 NODs Processed 369,214 Flag Applications 93,000 NCA Burial Records 129,447 Headstone/Marker Records 70,139 Insurance Records 7,966 Arlington NC 31, 262 VHA FY 2013 – $57.2 million in overpayments avoided through timely processing of Veterans’ Notice of Death To report a Notice of Death call your local VA Regional Office at First Notice of Death Office (FNOD)

33 Veterans Cemetery Grants Program

34 90 operational state and tribal cemeteries in 45 states, Guam and Saipan Over $500 million in grants awarded since program inception 32,000 burials in FY13 34 Grant Award Presentation BG William C. Doyle Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Wrightstown, N.J., November Years of Keeping the Promise

35 National Cemeteries in Indian Country Memorial walkway at the Memorial Cemetery of AZ 35 Entrance Gate Memorial Cemetery of AZ

36 National Cemeteries in Indian Country Tahoma National Cemetery, Kent, Washington National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, Phoenix 36

37 National Cemeteries in Indian Country Santa Fe National Cemetery, New Mexico Leavenworth National Cemetery, Kansas 37

38 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country Tribal Government grants - Law enacted December 2006 (PL Sec.403)  Made tribal organizations eligible for cemetery establishment grants on tribal trust lands -First grants awarded in 2011  5 awarded to-date -Awarded annually, in same manner as states -Opportunity to serve additional Veterans 38

39 Submit pre-application through grants.gov by July 1 st. Upon receipt VCGS will issue a viability letter to the applicant explaining next steps. Grant Opportunity can be searched using (CFDA) Number , To receive the highest consideration the pre-application must include Certification of State or Tribal Matching Funds and State or Tribal Legislation supporting the project. Grants Process

40 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country National cemeteries allow all eligible Veterans to be interred at national cemeteries States have the option to have a residency requirement as an additional eligibility requirement for their cemeteries -e.g., Must have lived in state for 2 years Tribal governments may add tribal requirements -e.g., Any Sioux Veteran may be interred 40

41 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country Tribal Veterans cemeteries aim to honor tribal customs and traditions, such as: –Use of tribal symbols –Longer committal services –Graveside burials –Areas to tie-up horses –Areas for traditional burials 41

42 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country First Operational VA-funded Tribal Veterans Cemetery Monte Calvario Cemetery, Tucson, Arizona Pascua Yaqui Tribe Dedicated Veterans Day

43 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country Grant Award and Groundbreaking Ceremony Sicangu Akicita Owicahe (Veterans Cemetery) Near Mission, South Dakota Rosebud Sioux Tribe September

44 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country Sicangu Akicita Owicahe (Veterans Cemetery) Rosebud Sioux Tribe, Dedicated

45 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country Under Construction; Projected Opening FY2014 Tribal Veterans Cemetery Humboldt County, California Yurok Tribe 45

46 Tribal Cemeteries in Indian Country Under Construction; Projected Opening FY2014 Lakota Freedom Veterans Cemetery Pine Ridge, South Dakota Oglala Sioux Tribe 46

47 George D. Eisenbach Jr, Acting Director (202) Howard Orr, Project Manager (202) Tom Paquelet, Project Manager (202) LaQuisha Barnes, Program Specialist (202) Veterans Cemetery Grants Service Contact List

48 Partners in Honoring Our Fallen Warriors Native American Honor Guard, Black Hills National Cemetery, Sturgis, South Dakota 48

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50 50 To stay current with NCA: Visit our Website Follow us on Become a fan on Facebook Please keep in touch!


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