VA expands burial benefits for Veterans and their families

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WASHINGTON — VA announced that Veterans, and their families, caregivers, and survivors now have access to expanded burial benefits to help with end-of-life expenses related to a Veteran’s gravesite, burial, funeral and transportation of remains to their final resting place. Burial benefits are available to individuals who pay for a Veteran’s burial and funeral costs that are not reimbursed by any other organization. The updated burial benefits are:

  • Expanded reimbursement of transportation expenses, to include costs for transporting remains, to state or Tribal Veterans’ cemeteries in addition to previously eligible national cemeteries.
  • Instituted a more generous single payment rate for non-service-connected burial benefits.
  • Extended the VA plot or interment allowance to Tribal organizations.

“Last fiscal year, VA delivered more than 84,000 burial benefits to families of Veterans,” said VA Under Secretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs. “Expanding burial benefits means we are able to ensure Veterans are honored in their final resting place, and assist their family, caregivers, and survivors during the difficult time of their loved one’s passing.”

VA provides burial benefits for all legal burial types, including cremation, burial at sea, and donation of remains to a medical school. Eligible individuals include a surviving spouse or legal partner, surviving child, parent or executor of the Veteran’s estate. Additionally, VA may pay burial benefits to a funeral home or third party who handled burial arrangements for a Veteran whose remains are unclaimed.

Veterans are encouraged to plan with end-of-life benefits provided by VA. These benefits include VA life insurance, care preferences, survivor benefits, and burial benefits that can be applied for in advance of a Veteran’s passing. Visit www.va.gov/plan-ahead to learn more.

There is no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot or interment allowance, or the transportation benefit. However, claims for non-service-connected burial benefits must be filed within two years of the Veteran’s burial or cremation. A non-service-connected burial benefit is one where the cause of death was not related to military service.

Learn more about burial benefits and additional information regarding flags, headstones, and markers.  

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