- What to Do When Death Occurs
- Death Certificates
- Social Security Information
- Information for Veterans
- Things to Do Following the Funeral
- Monuments and Memorials
- Grief Support
There are several things that must be considered when a death occurs. The order in which things need to be done usually depends on whether the death occurred at a residence, a public place, a hospital or hospice facility. A large number of people choose to be at home with Hospice or a home health care provider who assists the family until death occurs. Usually, the family will notify Hospice or the health care provider, and they will contact the proper people in the correct order; the physician, the medical examiner's or coroner?s office (if necessary), and the funeral home. If Hospice or a home health care provider is not involved, but the person is under a physician's care, and family or friends are present, the family may want to call the funeral home directly. If 911 is called and an ambulance responds, the ambulance crew notifies the police, who will then go to the residence. The police will then conduct their normal investigation before calling the funeral home. However, if the family calls the funeral home first, they will notify the proper authorities by phone, and the police may not need to go to the residence.
- If death occurs in a residence and no one is there at the time of death, the police must be notified and must respond to the residence before the deceased is removed from the home. This may result in a coroner becoming involved.
- If death occurs in a hospital or other care center, the name of the funeral home may be left with them, and the institution will notify the funeral home at the time of death. It is advisable for the family to also call the funeral home as soon as possible. The funeral home will respond immediately (we are on call 24-hours a day). At a time convenient to the family, the funeral home will review matters with the family.
- If you are uncertain who to notify when death occurs, please call us in Lawndale at 215-745-9009 or Richboro at 215-322-5545.
Many organizations require certified copies of death certificates in order for survivors to receive benefits. During the arrangement conference we will discuss with you the various organizations that require these certified copies. During this time we will also help you determine how many certified copies you will need.
If after sometime you have discovered that you need more certified copies of a death certificate, please use the links below. The first link will take you to the Pennsylvania Department of Health Division of Vital Records website, where you can find information about ordering certified copies online or in person at a regional office. The second link will take you directly to the Application for Certified Copy of Death Record by mail. Please note the fee will be waived for records of individuals who served in the Armed Forces and their dependents. If this applies to you please be sure to fill in the correct information. As always if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us, we will do our best to help you.
Access Social Security Administration http://www.ssa.gov/
The toll-free Social Security Administration number is 1-800-772-1213.
Claims for Social Security benefits can be filed for by telephone. When you call the Social Security Administration their representative will explain the benefits you may be entitled to and help you with the procedure to be used for filing your claim.
You may be entitled to some of the Social Security benefits listed below:
~ Lump sum death payment to the surviving spouse
~ Life pension to widow over 60
~ Pension to widowed mother with dependent children
~ Pension to minor children of deceased under 18 years of age (19 years of age if still in high school)
Social Security benefits are subject to constant change. For this reason, if any question of eligibility arises, contact the Social Security Administration. When calling the Social Security office, they may need the following information depending on the benefit(s) you are applying for:
~ Certified death certificate
~ Copy of marriage certificate
~ Deceased's Social Security card or number
~ Birth Certificate of minor children (under 18) (19 if still in high school)
~ Record of income for preceding year
If any of the above information is not available, do not delay applying. The local Social Secuirty office may suggest other proofs that may be used. As always if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us, we will do our best to help you.
County Burial Allowance
Available to Pennsylvania residents only and varies among each county. Claims to be filed within one year of death.
County Services Unit, City of Philadelphia
Municipal Services Building
Room 1340 - 1401 JFK Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19102
Access to the Veterans Administration http://www.va.gov/
The Veterans Administration provides a full range of benefits for eligible dependents. Information can be provided by the Veterans Administration in Washington. The toll free Number is 1-800-697-6947. The Philadelphia Veterans Administration telephone number is 215-842-2000.
Burial Expense Reimbursement
For wartime, Korean Conflict or Vietnam Era Veterans; and peacetime Veterans entitled to service-connected compensation or pension, or retired for disability incurred in the line of duty. The amount of payment will vary and claims should be filed within two years of death.
American flag to drape the casket and then be given to the next of kin for wartime and certain peacetime service.
Burial in National Cemetery
Any honorably discharged Veteran, or a Veteran's next of kin. Burial of cremated remains is available to all honorably discharged Veterans. In January 2008 the design contract for the Washington Crossing National Cemetery was awarded and we at Campbell and Thomas Funeral Home are proud to be in close proximity to this National Cemetery located near Washington Crossing Historic Park in Bucks County Pennsylvania.
Transportation to Cemetery and Transfer to Funeral Home
These expenses may be reimbursed if the Veteran died while under VA care, or in a facility authorized by the Veterans Administration.
Headstone or Grave Marker
Available for any honorably discharged Veteran. The Government will provide a headstone or grave marker without charge.
Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Payment to Survivors of Veterans who die on or after January 1, 1957, from a service-connected disability, or total disability for 10 years prior to death.
Military Honors at Gravesite
Military Honors at Gravesite depending on rank at time of honorable discharge. A contingent of honor will be present at the Cemetery to play taps and fold the American Flag and present it to the next of kin.
For widows, widowers and children of deceased wartime Veterans, including Korean Conflict and Vietnam Era periods, who have died of non-service connected causes and have limited income.
Presidential Memorial Certificate
A beautifully engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of an honorably discharged deceased veteran.
If the next of kin and family wish, we will contact the appropriate branch of military and schedule Military Honors at the Gravesite, a Burial Flag to be folded and presented, and if desired Burial in a National Cemetery.
We will provide the necessary forms and assist you in filing for the County Burial Allowance, Headstone or Grave Marker (if you choose to have one), the Burial Expense Reimbursement if it is applicable, and the Presidential Memorial Certificate. As always if you have any questions or concerns please do not hesitate to call us, we will do our best to help you.
If you are unable to locate the Veteran?s DD-214 or any other separation or discharge document, you can obtain a copy from the National Personnel Records Center at the National Archives. This can be done through their website at Request Military Service Records or Prove Military Service. You can also obtain the Standard Form SF-180 by clicking on the following link Standard Form SF-180.After completing the form you can mail or fax it to the National Personnel Records Center.You can contact the National Archives at 1-866-272-6272.
- Obtain certified copies of the death certificate.
- Write and send acknowledgment cards. Within two weeks from the time of funeral you should acknowledge those who extended special help, sent letters or cards of sympathy sent flowers, or made contributions to designated charities. It is also proper to acknowledge all that may have done special favors, the pallbearers and others. We will provide for you boxes of acknowledgement cards.
- Be prepared to receive a number of letters and phone calls for the deceased, which may continue for some time after death. Do not let these upset you, remembering that these people are making an unintentional mistake.
- Meet with attorney to commence probate proceeding. Provide the attorney with a copy of the will and certified copy of death certificate. If a properly prepared will exists, the executor named is authorized to make the necessary distributions. This can only be done after the will has been submitted for probate, and letters testamentary are received from your court. If there is no will, an appointed administrator will distribute all property according to your local laws. If there should be any questions regarding estates, please consult your attorney. If you do not have an attorney, we have worked with and have recommended for many years, Joseph P. McGowan, Esq. His office is located in Philadelphia (6221 Rising Sun Avenue, Lawncrest Realty Building, Philadelphia PA, 19111) near our Lawndale Funeral Home. You can contact his office at 215-338-2800.
Another prestigious law firm we also recommend would be Williams & Scheetz Law Office located at 935 Second Street Pike, Richboro, PA 18954. You can contact their office at 215-322-6868 or www.wslawpa.com.
- Notify insurance companies and file claims when applicable. Your insurance representative will be able to answer any questions you may have.
~ Life Insurance
~ Medical, Health, Disability, Travel and Accident Insurance
~ Pension Benefits
~ Homeowners Insurance
~ Notify employer of decedent
- Change information regarding automobiles.
~ Transfer vehicle title
~ Change auto insurance
~ Return Driver's License
- Apply for appropriate benefits when applicable.
~ Social Security Benefits -We will notify Social Security of the death
~ Veteran's Burial and Survivor Benefits -We will explain these at the arrangement conference and help you apply for these benefits
~ Worker's Compensation Benefits
- Notify Stockbrokers.
~ Change ownership of jointly- or solely-owned stocks
~ Cancel any open orders arranged by the deceased
- Notify Banks.
~ Change all jointly held accounts and correct tax identification numbers (usually Social Security numbers)
~ Cancel direct deposit of retirement benefit payments
~ Re-establish title of safe deposit box
~ Re-establish outstanding mortgages, personal notes, etc.
~ Apply for all credit life insurance which may exist
A monument or marker can be installed at the cemetery as soon as time permits. Many different styles are available, and it is wise to take your time in making your selection. We will give you guidance with a memorial purchase or engraving the existing monument by offering to you information about the monument company we trust and recommend.
Abington Memorial Hospital ~ Safe Harbor Program
A program for grieving children, teens and their families. For more information, please call (215) 481-5983.
Addisville Reformed Church ~ Grief Support Group
For questions and information about out Grief Support Group, please contact Susan Sigafoos at (215) 491-0403.
Doylestown Hospital Bereavement Groups
Call 215-345-2671 for information.
The Counseling Center of Holy Redeemer
Individual, couple, family and group counseling sessions are available, please call 215-938-1130.
Below are accommodations that we have provided as a suggestion should you require them.
There are numerous florists located near our two locations. Please contact us and we will offer suggestions of several florists in our area.