Families should prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options, collecting the veteran's military information including discharge papers (DD-214 form), and by contacting the cemetery where burial is desired.
The Department of Veterans Affairs will pay a burial allowance up to $2000 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 the 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 or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay.
Eligibility is also 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 in those cases.
Time Limits for Making Claims
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.
VA will pay a $150 burial 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 or if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA.
The plot allowance is not payable based 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 $150 plot allowance may be paid to the state.
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.