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:
- a burial (including cremation) and funeral expense allowance
- a plot interment allowance – the cost of placing the remains into a final resting place
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.
Non Service-Related Death – VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $796 for a plot.
VA Hospitalized Veteran – If the veteran was hospitalized by VA when they died, VA will pay a $807 burial allowance and $807 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.
The veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, and they must have:
- Died as a result of a service-connected disability;
- Been receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death;
- Been entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but chose to receive their full military retirement or disability pay instead;
- Died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility;
- Died while on authorized travel to or from VA treatment;
- Had a 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 based on that claim;
- Died on or after Oct. 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
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 get help from your funeral director, local or state VA office or by calling VA at 800-827-1000.
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