Burial Allowance

Military funeral Familiy

VA burial allowances are cash allowances paid to an eligible veteran's family to help defray burial and funeral costs.  VA will pay a different amount depending on whether the death was considered service-connected or not, or if the veteran was hospitalized by the VA at the time of death

Reimbursements are generally described as two payments: 

  1. a burial (including cremation) and funeral expense allowance
  2. a plot interment allowance.

Amounts Payable

Service-Related Death - The maximum service-connected burial allowance is $2,000. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA reimburses some or all of the cost of transporting the remains.

Nonservice-Related Death - VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $780 for a plot.

VA Hospitalized Veteran - If the veteran was hospitalized by VA when they died, VA will pay a $780 burial allowance and $780 for a plot.

Indigent Veteran With No Next-of-Kin - The VA will furnish either a casket or cremation urn for interment in either a national, state, or tribal veterans cemetery.

Eligibility

The veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, and at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • they died as a result of a service-connected disability
  • they were receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death
  • they  were entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided instead to receive their full military retirement or disability pay
  • they died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility
  • they died while on authorized travel to or from VA treatment
  • they had an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death and would have been entitled to benefits from a date prior to the date of death
  • they died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA–approved state nursing home.

Who Can Receive the Benefit

  • surviving spouse
  • the survivor of a legally recognized union
  • the children, regardless of age
  • the veteran's parent
  • the executor or administrator of the veteran's estate

Application

Eligible surviving spouses of record are paid automatically upon notification of the veteran’s death, without the need to submit a claim. VA may grant additional benefits, including the plot or interment allowance and transportation allowance, if it receives a claim for these benefits.

If necessary, you can apply by filling out VA Form 21P-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent) and a death certificate. If you are claiming transportation expenses, please attach a receipt for the expenses paid.

You can call VA toll-free at 800-827-1000 for assistance.

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Related Topics

Veteran Benefits