VA Burial Benefits
BURIAL AND PLOT INTERNMENT ALLOWANCE
WHAT ARE VA BURIAL ALLOWANCES?
VA burial allowances are flat-rate monetary benefits that are generally paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. A VA regulation change in 2014 simplified the program to pay eligible survivors quickly and efficiently. Eligible surviving spouses of record are paid automatically upon notification of a Veteran’s death, without the need to submit a claim. VA may grant additional benefits, including the plot or internment allowance and transportation allowance, if it receives a claim for these benefits.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
If the burial benefit has not been automatically paid to the surviving spouse, VA will pay the first living person to file a claim of those listed below:
• The Veteran’s surviving spouse, OR
• The survivor of a legal union* between the deceased Veteran and the survivor, OR
• The Veteran’s children, regardless of age, OR
• The Veteran’s parents or surviving parent, OR
• The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased Veteran
*Legal union means a formal relationship between the decedent and the survivor existed on the date of the Veteran’s death, which was recognized under the law of the State in which the couple formalized the relationship and evidenced by the State’s issuance of documentation memorializing the relationship.
The Veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
• The Veteran died as a result of a service-connected 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 to receive his or her full 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 for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death and would have been entitled to benefits from a date prior to the date of death, OR
Pension and Fiduciary Service – December, 2015
• The Veteran died on, or after, October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.
HOW MUCH DOES VA PAY?
If the Veteran died on or after September 1, 2001, the maximum service-connected burial allowance is $2,000. If the Veteran died before September 11, 2001, the maximum service-connected burial allowance is $1,500. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA may reimburse some or all of the costs of transporting the deceased Veteran’s remains.
Non Service-Connected Death
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $747 for a plot.
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015, VA will pay $300 for burial allowance and $745 for a plot.
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014, VA will pay $300 burial allowance and $734 for a plot.
Effective October 1, 2011, there are higher non-service-connected death rates payable if the Veteran was hospitalized by VA at the time of his or her death.
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015, VA will pay a $747 burial allowance and $747 for a plot.
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015, VA will pay a $745 burial allowance and $745 for a plot.
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but Before October 1, 2014, VA will pay a $734 burial allowance and $734 for a plot.
If the death occurred while the Veteran was properly hospitalized by VA, or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the Veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.
Note: If the Veteran dies while traveling at VA expense for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, VA will pay burial and plot allowances and transportation expenses.
If a Veteran dies and their remains are unclaimed, the entity responsible for the burial of the Veteran would be entitled to a $300 burial allowance. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA may reimburse the cost of transporting the deceased Veterans remains. VA may also reimburse for the cost of a plot.
HOW CAN YOU APPLY?
You can apply by completing VA Form 21P-530 Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the Veteran’s military discharge document (DD Form 214 or equivalent) and a death certificate. If you are claiming transportation expenses, please attach a receipt for the expenses paid.
Pension and Fiduciary Service – December, 2015
You can call us toll-free within the U.S. by dialing 1-800-827-1000. If you are located in the local dialing area of a VA regional office, you can also call us by checking your local telephone directory. For the hearing impaired, our TDD number is 711.
You should mail your application to the VA regional office located in your state. You can obtain the mailing address for VA regional offices by accessing our locations site. The address is also located in the government pages of your telephone book under “United States Government, Veterans.”
VA National Cemetery Burials / Headstones, Markers and Medallions / Presidential Memorial Certificates / Burial Flags
WHERE CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION?