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Veteran’s Burial Costs & Funeral Expenses

US Department of Veterans Affairs – Burial Benefits
The Veteran’s Affairs (VA) has changed its monetary burial benefits regulations to simplify the program and pay eligible survivors more quickly and efficiently. The VA Burial Benefits regulations will authorize the VA to pay, without a written application, most eligible surviving spouses basic monetary burial benefits at the maximum amount authorized in law through automated systems rather than reimbursing them for actual veterans burial costs incurred.

  • Under the current regulations, VA pays for burial and funeral expenses on a reimbursement basis, which requires survivors to submit receipts for relatively small one-time payments that VA generally pays at the maximum amount permitted by law.
  • The new burial regulations will permit VA to pay, at a flat rate, burial and plot or interment allowances thereby enabling VA to automate payment of burial benefits to most eligible surviving spouses and more efficiently process other burial benefit claims.
  • The burial allowance for a non-service-connected death is $300, and $2,000 for a death connected to military service.

US Department of Veterans Affairs VA – Burial Benefits For A Service-Related Death

VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001, or up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 11, 2001. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.

US Department of Veterans Affairs VA – Burial Benefits For Non Service-Related Death

VA will pay up to $747 toward burial and funeral expenses for deaths on or after October 1, 2015 (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $747 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery). For deaths on or after December 1, 2001, but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance. For deaths on or after April 1, 1988 but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (for Veterans hospitalized by VA at the time of death).
An annual increase in burial and plot allowances for deaths occurring after October 1, 2011 begins in fiscal year 2013 based on the Consumer Price Index for the preceding 12-month period.
US Department of Veterans Affairs VA – Burial Eligibility Requirements

The following is a list of eligibility requirements for veterans to receive burial compensation:

  • You paid for a Veteran’s burial or funeral, AND
  • You have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased Veteran’s employer, AND
  • The Veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, AND
  • The Veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
  • The Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
  • The Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
  • The Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
  • The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR
  • The Veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR
  • The Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

NOTE: VA does not pay burial benefits if the deceased:

  • Died during active military service, OR
  • Was a member of Congress who died while holding office, OR
  • Was a Federal prisoner

US Department of Veterans Affairs VA – Burial Eligibility Evidence Requirements

The following items are required to be eligible for VA burial cost coverage:

  • Acceptable proof of death as specified in 38 CFR 3.211., AND
  • Receipted bills that show that you made payment in whole or part, OR
  • A statement of account, preferably on the printed billhead of the funeral director or cemetery owner. The statement of account must show:
  • The name of the deceased Veteran for whom the services and merchandise were furnished, AND
  • The nature and cost of the services and merchandise, AND
  • All credits, AND
  • The amount of the unpaid balance, if any

How to Apply For The Application For Burial Allowance

  • Complete and submit a VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Allowance. You can find an office on the VA Facility Locator page, OR
  • Apply online using VA eBenefits, OR
  • Work with an accredited representative or agent, OR
  • Go to a VA regional office and have a VA employee assist you. You can find your regional VA office on the VA Facility Locator page.

For more information on how to apply and for tips on making sure your VA claim is ready to be processed by VA, visit the How to Apply For VA Benefits page.

Funeral Burial Insurance Quote

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Burial Funeral Insurance Quote

Funeral Burial Insurance Quote

Burial insurance (aka funeral insurance) is a basic issue life insurance policy that covers people until they reach 100 years old. Burial insurance (also known as funeral insurance) is promoted as a way to pay in advance for your funeral expenses so that your loved ones won’t have to pay for your funeral. There are many things you can do to make your death easier on the wallets of those you love. Preplanning your funeral saves money and grief, as well as deciding whether you want to be buried in a casket or cremated and put into and urn, figuring out who gets what part of your estate and all the related turmoil associated with the end of life.

Return to the Burial Insurance Information FAQ page.