Veterans

May 17, 2012

Vet News: Veteran Burial Benefits

Burial Benefits

The VA does not make funeral arrangements or perform cremations. Families should make these arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the families expense.

Burial in a National Cemetery

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 131 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

Preparing in Advance

Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance.

You should advise your family of your wishes and where your discharge papers* are kept. These papers are very important in establishing your eligibility. You may wish to make pre-need arrangements with a funeral home.

At the time of need, your family would contact a funeral home who will assist them with making burial arrangements at the national cemetery.

To schedule a burial: Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.




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