Burial and Memorial Benefits

The information below was taken from the US department of Veterans Affairs web site (www.va.gov)

Burial, Headstone & Plot Rate Table

Benefit Rate Date Rate Changed Public Law
Headstone $132
$  94
PL 95-476
Service-Connected Burial *$2,000
PL 107-103
PL 100-322
Non-service Connected Burial $300 04-01-1988 PL 100-322
Plot Allowance $300
PL 107-103
PL 100-322
State Cemetery Plot Allowance $300
PL 107-103

Note 1: The P.L. 107-103 service-connected burial rate applies in cases where death occurred on or after 9/11/01.

Note 2: The headstone/marker allowance is payable only if the veteran died between 10/18/78 and 11/1/90. The rate payable is determined by when the headstone/marker was purchased For example, the rate payable would be $98 if the veteran died on 7/1/85 and the headstone/marker was purchased on 9/29/94.

Burial and Plot-Interment Allowances

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 ?
Service-Related Death. VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 10, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting 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 for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. The plot-interment allowance is $150 for deaths prior to December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the deceased's remains may be reimbursed.

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.

•  Related Benefits

•  Burial in VA National Cemeteries

•  Headstones and Markers

•  Presidential Memorial Certificates

•  Burial Flags

•  Burial Flags

Why Does VA Provide a Burial Flag?
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged.

•  veteran who served during wartime

•  veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941

•  veteran who served after January 31, 1955

•  peacetime veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950

•  certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S Armed forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951

•  certain former members of the Selected Reserves

Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.

How Can You Apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag.

Can a Burial Flag Be Replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a veteran's funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.

How Should the Burial Flag Be Displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 21-2008 does provide the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.