WHAT ARE VA BURIAL ALLOWANCES?
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:
- A burial and funeral expense allowance, and
- A plot or interment allowance.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:
you paid for a Veteran's burial or funeral,
you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased Veteran's employer,
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,
the Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death,
the Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay,
the Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility,
or the Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care,
the Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date of death,
the Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA–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 of all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
Non-service-Related Death. For deaths on or after October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $700.00 toward burial and funeral expenses (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 $700.00 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 $300.00 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300.00 plot-interment allowance. The plot-interment allowance is $150.00 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 of all of the costs for transporting the Veteran's remains may be reimbursed. 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 a copy of the Veteran's military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full. You may download the form.
WHY DOES VA PROVIDE A BURIAL FLAG?
A United States flag is provided, at no cost to drape the casket of accompany the urn or 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 27-2008, 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.