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 (including cremation) and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot interment allowance.
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.
Veterans' Benefit Act of 2010 Update: For deaths which occur after Oct. 1, 2011 the VA will pay up to $700 toward burial and funeral expenses, and a $700 plot-interment allowance.
You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:
In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
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.
Concerning service-connected deaths, there is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
Note: If burial expenses were paid by the deceased's employer or a state agency, the burial allowance will not be reimbursed to those making interment arrangements.