site image

What Death Benefits Are Available to Veterans?

Published: December 5, 2022

There are many funeral services and benefits available for eligible service members, Veterans, and their families. We believe that the men and woman who have served in the United States armed forces deserve the greatest honor, respect, and care at the time of their death. Here are some benefits which may be available for your loved one.

Burial Allowance

A Veteran’s Administration (VA) Burial Allowance is a flat rate monetary benefit that is paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. Regulations for this benefit were simplified to pay eligible survivors automatically upon notification of the Veteran’s death, without the need to submit a claim. The VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who qualify.

The VA will pay a $150 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by the VA.

The VA may pay a burial allowance up to $1,500 if the veteran’s death is service connected. The VA may also pay the cost of transferring the deceased of a service-disabled veteran to a local national cemetery.

Military Funeral Honors

Every eligible Veteran is entitled to receive military funeral honors at the family’s request by law. The Department of Defense calls for funeral home directors to request military funeral honors on behalf of the Veteran’s family. Military units are required to provide, at a minimum, a two-person uniformed detail to present the core elements of a military honors ceremony. This includes the playing of Taps and the folding and presentation of the U.S. flag. A uniformed representative from the veteran’s service will present the flag. For more information on the flag presentation protocol, see this online brochure.

Burial in National Cemeteries and State Veterans Cemeteries

A gravesite in any of the 135 national cemeteries with available space is one of the benefits available to eligible Veterans. Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death. This benefit also includes internment, or the opening and closing of the grave, and the perpetual care and maintenance of the cemetery grounds. Cremated remains are treated in the same manner and honors as casketed remains. For a map and listing of national and state cemeteries visit the National Cemetery Administration.

Spouses and dependents of eligible veterans may be buried in a national cemetery with the Veteran. The spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone, at no cost. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

Headstones, Markers and Medallions

Upon request, the Department of Veterans Affairs provides a government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. Different styles of markers are available and must be permitted by the cemetery where it will be placed.

Presidential Memorial Certificate

To honor the memory of a deceased, honorably discharged Veteran, a Presidential Memorial Certificate is provided to the next of kin or loved one. The certificate is a gold-embossed paper certificate bearing the signature of the current President expressing the country’s recognition of his or her service in the Armed Forces.

For more detailed information and resources, please visit the Department of Veterans Affairs online.

Thanks for reading our blog. You can reach out to us, Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home and Crematory anytime at 1-309-786-5421.