Upon death there are several benefits that a honorably discharged veteran may be eligible to receive. If the DD214 (discharge papers) are provided we will apply for the following veteran benefits:
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000 if the veteran's death is service connected. VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of a deceased that has available gravesites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran's burial expenses may claim reimbursement from VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation. Eligibility also is established when death occurs in a VA facility or a nursing home with which VA contracted. Additional costs of transportation of the remains may be reimbursed. There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims of service-connected deaths. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty. The plot allowance is not payable solely on wartime service.
If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials, the $300 plot allowance may be paid to the state.
VA provides military honors to a veteran with an honorable discharge. This service includes the playing of taps and folding of the American Flag at a gravesite, crematory, church, or funeral home.
VA provides an American flag for the casket of a veteran. The flag will be presented to the next of kin by the military personnel who provide the military honors.
Headstones and Markers
VA provides headstones and markers for graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are: military grade, rank or rate; war service such as World War II; months and days of birth and death; an emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state veteran cemetery, the headstone or marker must be applied for from VA. It is shipped at government expense to the designated cemetery on the application.
We will assist you in filling out the necessary paperwork and be sure that you follow the guidelines laid out by your cemetery. Each cemetery has the right to make there own rules and requirements regarding monuments. We will gladly explain your options for you and make you aware of any fees you may incur. The VA does not pay foundations fees or installation fees that may be charged by the cemetery.
For information regarding the status of an application, you may call the Director, Office of Memorial Programs (403B3) at 1-800-697-6947.
Presidential Memorial Certificates
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends.
For any additional information feel free to contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs at (800) 827-1000.