Veteran Administration benefits as they relate to funerals are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs. These funeral related benefits, when the cause of death is not service related, consist of two payments:
1) Burial and funeral expense allowance
2) Plot interment allowance
Veterans who have paid for a veteran’s burial or funeral, and have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source; and, a veteran who was discharged honorably.
In addition, one the following conditions must be met:
• The veteran died because of a service-related disability
• The veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at 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
• 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 or death
• The veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA approved state nursing home.
Amount VA Pays:
For service-related deaths, the VA will pay up to $2,000.00 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500.00 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.
For non-service related deaths, the VA will pay up to $300.00 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300.00 plot-interment allowance for deaths on after December 1, 2001. 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 or all the costs for transporting the veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.
A VA Form 21-530 (Application for Burial Benefits) must be filled out to apply for burial benefits. A copy of the veteran’s discharge document – DD 214 should also be attached. For additional information related to VA National Cemetery Burials, Headstones Markers, Burial Flags, etc., you may call 1-800-827-1000 or go to VA web site http://www.va.gov.