Veteran’s Burial Allowance
A VA burial allowance is a partial reimbursement of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral or cremation costs.
For a non-service related death on or after December 1, 2001, the VA will pay up to $300 towards burial and funeral expenses and up to $300 plot interment allowance. If the death occurred while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under contracted nursing home care, some of the cost of transporting the deceased’s remains may be reimbursed.
For a Service-related death on or after September 1, 2001, the VA will pay $2,000. If the veteran is buried in a VA National Cemetery, some or all of the cost of moving the deceased may be reimbursed.
To determine the final reimbursement amount, and “Application for Burial Benefits” (VA Form 21-530) must be submitted to the VA. Reimbursement is made to the claimant. Proof of the veteran’s military service (DD Form 214), a death certificate, and copies of the funeral and burial invoices should also be submitted with the application.
To facilitate receiving veteran’s benefits for which you are eligible, you will need the following documents at the time of death.
- Proof of veteran’s military service (DD Form 214)
- Service serial number
- Marriage license (if applicable)
- Children’s birth certificates (if applicable)
- Certified copy of death certificate
Headstones and Markers
Any deceased veteran discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible for a standard Government headstone or marker. The VA, upon request, and at no charge to the applicant, will furnish a Government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world.
Flat markers are available in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble. The style must be consistent with existing monuments or markers at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available. A niche is a recessed compartment in which an urn is placed containing ashes. An “Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for Installation in a Private or State Veteran’s Cemetery” (VA Form 40-1330) must be submitted.
United States Flag
Most veterans are eligible for a United States flag. However, only one flag may be provided per veteran. A flag is provided at no cost to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran. Generally, the flag is given to the next of kin.
Upon the request of the family, an “Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes” (VA Form 21-2008) must be submitted along with a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers. Flags may be obtained from VA regional offices and most U.S. post offices or by submitting a copy of the DD Form 214 to your funeral director.
Presidential Memorial Certificate
Initiated in March 1962, a “Presidential Memorial Certificate” is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of an honorably discharged, decease veteran. Eligible recipients of the certificate include the deceased veteran’s next of kin and loved ones. More than one certificate may be requested. Eligible recipients, or someone acting on their behalf, may apply in person at any VA regional office or by U.S. mail. There is no form for requesting a Presidential memorial Certificate; however, your funeral director can provide you with assistance.
In general, any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies while on active duty or any veteran who was honorably discharged is entitled to burial in a VA National Cemetery. Under certain conditions, the spouse and minor children of an eligible person also are entitled to this benefit.
Burial in a VA National Cemetery includes an assigned grave, if space is available, opening and closing of the grave, a grave liner for casketed remains, a Government headstone or marker and perpetual care — at no cost to the family. Ashes are buried or inurned in VA National Cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Graves in VA National Cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance. Of the more than 120 VA National Cemeteries, less than 61 are open to the burial of casketed remains or ashes, about 26 can accommodate only the burial of ashes and the burial of family members of those already interred, and about 33 are closed to burial of casketed remains but may be able to accommodate family members in already-occupied graves. Please ask your funeral director to check in advance.
You funeral director can assist you by contacting the VA National Cemetery where burial is desired to determine the options available and can provide you with guidance and assistance in completion of the required paper work. In addition, there are many local cemeteries that offer special veteran’s sections.
If you need further assistance, please contact us at Cherished Family Funeral Home, or you can call the Veterans Administration at 1-800-827-1000 or visit their website at www.va.gov
These benefits may be changed at any time. It’s important that you contact your local VA office for the most current information. Although every effort has been taken to accurately collect and prepare this information, please be aware that all details and exceptions are not addressed. It is therefore very important to contact your state VA office to determine applicable benefits. The information provided above should not be construed as legal advice. Please consult your attorney should you have legal questions.