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.
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.