Benefits For Survivors Of Veterans
What Are VA Burial Allowances?
VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service-related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot interment allowance.
Who Is Eligible?
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 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, in a nursing home under VA contract, or while in an approved state nursing home.
How Much Does VA Pay?
VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001, or up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 11, 2001. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
VA will pay up to $700 toward burial and funeral expenses for deaths on or after October 1, 2011 (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $700 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery). For deaths on or after December 1, 2001, but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance. For deaths on or after April 1, 1988 but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (for Veterans hospitalized by VA at the time of death).
An annual increase in burial and plot allowances for deaths occurring after October 1, 2011 begins in fiscal year 2013 based on the Consumer Price Index for the preceding 12-month period.
How Can You Apply?
You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach proof of the veteran's military service (DD 214), a death certificate, and copies of funeral and burial bills you have paid.
Burial in VA National Cemeteries
Headstones and Markers
Presidential Memorial Certificates
How To Apply
For More Information, Call Toll-Free 1-800-827-1000 or visit the United States Department of Veteran Affairs at: http://www.cem.va.gov