What burial benefits are veterans entitled to?


Quick Answer

A deceased veteran is entitled to a government headstone, a burial flag and a Presidential Memorial Certificate. If the veteran is buried in a national cemetery, his spouse and dependents are entitled to a gravesite, the opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care.

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Full Answer

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides burial benefits for veterans. An eligible veteran receives burial benefits, and if he is buried in a national cemetery, the veteran's spouse and dependents are also entitled to burial benefits.

Importantly, these benefits do not include funeral or cremation services. The eligibility for a monetary benefit to defray funeral costs requires that the veteran is eligible for a VA pension, died as a result of a service-connected disability, or died while receiving VA medical care. As of 2015, the VA pays a monetary allowance of $300 for burial and $745 for a private plot if the veteran's death is not connected with his service. If the death is service-related, the allowance is $745 for burial and $745 for a plot.

To claim burial benefits, the family must provide discharge documentation to the VA in order to prove eligibility. The funeral home often assists in submitting a claim, as well as contacting the Department of Defense to provide military funeral honors.

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