Veteran's Benefits

Veteran’s Burial Allowance

The U.S. Department of Veteran’s affairs (VA) furnishes a partial reimbursement of eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs.  When the cause of death is service related, the reimbursement is generally described as two payments: (1) a. burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot interment allowance.  You may be entitled to 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 getting VA pension or compensation at the time of death OR
  • The veteran was entitled to receive 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.

Service Related Death

The VA will pay an allowance toward burial and funeral expenses, and a plot interment allowance.  If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under contracted nursing care, the cost of moving the deceased may be reimbursed.

Non-Service Relate Death

The VA will pay an allowance toward burial expenses.

Headstones and Markers

  • The VA furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker to mark the unmarked grave of an eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world.
  • Flat bronze, granite or marble markers and upright granite and marble headstones are available
  • The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. The cemetery must certify that the type chosen is permitted on the grave of the deceased.
  • Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.

Burial Flags

Most veterans are eligible for a burial flag.  Reservists entitled to retired pay are also eligible to receive a burial flag.

To facilitate receiving veteran benefits for which you may be eligible, you will need the following when you contact the Veterans’ Administration Office:

  • Proof of the veteran’s military service (DD 214)
  • Service Serial Number
  • Marriage License (if applicable)
  • Children’s Birth Certificates (if applicable)
  • Certified Copy of the Death Certificate

Veterans’ Administration Toll-Free Phone Number: 1-800-827-1000

www.va.gov