How can I get a copy of 'the Cause of Death' Certificate of my ex/late husband?

A fellow caregiver asked...

Vital Statistics of the FL Dept of Health refused me a copy of the cause of death cert as I was divorced from my husband who died of Agent Orange. We were married 11 yrs - together 14 yrs until he became too dangerous to be around. He told his buddy he wanted me to have the benefits. I'm only looking into it now as I'm told by several VA people that I am eligible BUTTTT, I need the 'Cause of Death' cert. Can you help direct me?

Expert Answer

Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate information empowers them to create tributes and services that are meaningful and appropriate.

Probably the easiest way to get one is to call the funeral home who handled his services and explain that you believe you are entitled to veteran's survivors benefits and that you need a copy of the death certificate. You will probably have to pay the cost of the certificate if you need a certified copy and it may take a few weeks if he died more than a month ago, but this should get you the copy you need.

If the funeral home suggests that you contact Vital Statistics yourself, just explain that you could not get one since you are divorced, and they can apply for it with their relationship as his funeral director.