Veterans Benefits

Eligibility

You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:

  • You paid for a veteran’s burial or funeral and
  • You have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran’s employer and
  • The veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The veteran died because of a service-related disability or
  • The veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death or
  • The veteran was entitled toreceive VA pension or compensation but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay or
  • The veteran died in a VA hospital or while in a nursing home under VA contract, or while in an approved state nursing home.

Claim Filing Timeframe

There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-related deaths. In nonservice-related cases, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.

Service-Related Death

VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of moving the deceased may be reimbursed.

Nonservice-Related Death

VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and a $300 plot interment allowance. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the deceased’s remains may be reimbursed.

American Flag

VA provides an American flag, which usually drapes the casket. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation’s recognition of the veteran’s service. The veteran’s name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends. We will apply for this certificate for you.

Headstones and Markers

VA provides headstones and markers for graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available. Niche markers are also available to mark mausoleum crypts or inurnment of cremated remains.

Burial in National Cemeteries VA Cemeteries

Eligibility – Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Veterans entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are also eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war also may be eligible. Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans and of armed forces members also may be buried in a national cemetery. A surviving spouse of an eligible veteran who married a nonveteran, and whose remarriage was terminated by death or divorce, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government’s expense.

For more information, you may visit the Veterans Administration website at http://www.va.gov.