Frequently asked questions

What is cremation?
Cremation is the process of degrading the human body to its basic chemical compounds which appear as bone fragments, by the application of high heat and flame. It is an alternative to the in-ground burial of a dead body in a casket. Cremation is not a kind of funeral service nor is the final disposition of human remains.
How do I pre plan?
We encourage you to make an appointment with us at your convenience, and discuss your preferences and the options that you could avail. Preplanning ensures that your life’s end is peaceful and gives you the leverage to chart out the final arrangements while relieving your loved ones from the stress of taking tough decisions. We guarantee to help you choose every minor detail of the service including the committal service, site and even permanent memorial depending on your preference.
Am I eligible for veterans benefits?
Eligibility depends on various conditions such as being a veteran who has completed the approved period of service and is separated /discharged from active duty due to any other condition apart from dishonorable. Members of the U.S Armed Force, who die while on-duty are eligible for benefits. It also covers the spouses and dependent children of eligible deceased and living veterans and also of the current and deceased armed force members who are serving the nation. You can find out more at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000
Things to consider
There are state and city laws that prohibit the scattering of mortal remains at specific locations. If you have an ideal location in your mind, we can help assess whether it will be viable by checking the restrictions in the area. The major drawback of scattering is that by doing so, you are forced to let go of the last physical reminder of your deceased loved ones, which is extremely difficult for most people. Visiting the burial spot or paying homage to a burial urn helps recoup from their sense of loss. Therefore, there is a possibility of the living members of a family being against a decision to scatter remains. The process of scattering is also highly dependent on the weather, unlike the traditional burial ceremony, which can be scheduled in advance. Another important possibility is having multiple choices. Many people opt for provisions including burying a portion of cremains, while scattering of some at the same time and keeping even more in an urn they find a better solution.
When is the right time for me to call the Social Security Office?

Social Security Teleservices are available 24/7 throughout the year. You can call anytime. Representatives will be at your service from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm on routine business days; on holidays and weekends, all you have to do is leave a message and they will get back to you on the next working day. They will be able to help answer your queries and give you proper guidance on your claim.

How long does cremation take?
It is highly subject to the weight of the deceased. On an average, it could take from two to three hours to cremate an average-sized adult at temperature ranging from 1400 degree Fahrenheit to 1800 degree Fahrenheit.
Where does the money go if I pre plan?
The money received will be deposited into a burial reserve account which will not be accessible till the funeral is complete. The money that you pre-pay will only be used for your services.
What are my scattering options?
Cremation is being opted for a large number of the population now, and scattering the cremains has also gained popularity as a mark to honor the death of a loved one. There are also companies that offer different kinds of scattering services, ranging from traditional air scattering to innovative, non-conventional methods. Do not opt for scattering method just for the trend or popularity of it. It is vital to consider a lot of things before you decide on the method of final disposition.
Will I be eligible for LSDP?
The eligible criteria for people who are entitled to LSDP (lump-sum death payment) benefits for the month of death  includes – children, a widow/widower of the deceased, and a widow/widower who shared the same house with the deceased at the time of death.  They are also entitled to receive an extra $255 as a one-time payment in addition to the monthly benefits.
What can be done with the cremated remains?
You can choose from a multitude of options; such as burying the remains in a cemetery or cremation garden, preserving it in an urn, which could be kept at a columbarium or at home, or scattering it in a ceremony. We encourage you to discuss your options with our well-informed staff and will be happy to help you make your decision.
Are remains always returned?
Yes, we give back all the remains to the family with the slight exception of microscopic particles, which cannot be removed from the chamber of cremation.
What is the Eligibility for Social Security Benefits?

Depending on her/his age at the time of death, the deceased should have prescribed work credit and period on his/her job (anything between 1 ½ and 10 years) as given by Social Security. Eligible dependents for the monthly social security benefits are

  • Dependent mother or father or both of the deceased if they are 62 or older
  • Disabled children of the deceased under 22 years of age or for the period that they stay disabled (whichever is lesser)
  • Unmarried children below or until 18 years of age. The age limit is relaxed to 19 for those attending full time school
  • Spouse / Divorced widower or widow who is 60 or above. If the widow or widower is disabled, the age limit is relaxed to 50. It is pertinent, however, that the marriage had lasted at least a decade and he/she is caring for an entitled child until the child is  16 years of age or if the child has a disability.
How should I apply for Benefits?
You can call 1-800-772-1213 (toll free number) for Social Security or you can directly apply to the Social Security office. You will be scheduled an appointment with the regional officer and you can apply either directly or through the telephone.
Philadelphia Cremation Services
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