Burial Allowance

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 – the cost of placing the remains into a final resting place

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.

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.

Eligibility

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

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 get help from your funeral director, local or state VA office or by calling VA at 800-827-1000.

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