VA Burial Allowances and Reimbursements
VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments:
- a burial and funeral expense allowance,
- a plot or interment allowance.
Who Is Eligible for VA Burial Allowances?
You may be eligible for VA burial allowances if:
- you paid for a veteran's burial or funeral, AND
- you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer, AND
- the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met for VA Burial Allowances:
- the veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
- the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
- the veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
- the veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
- the veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR
- the veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date or death, OR
- the veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.
How Much Does VA Pay?
Service-Related Death. VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 10, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
Nonservice-Related Death. VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. The plot-interment allowance is $150 for deaths prior to December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.
How Can You Apply for VA Burial Allowances?
We strongly recommend that you enlist the services of a Veteran Service Officer before you submit your application for VA Burial Allowances. They will review your application, helping ensure it has all the information the VA requires. In addition, they may be able to tell you about other benefits for which you may be eligible. If you do not have a VSO yet, the NVF will help you find one. Simply call us at 888-777-4443
You can apply for VA Burial Allowances by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full.