Burial in National Cemeteries and VA Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the grave site, a headstone or marker, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria or grave sites for cremated remains.
Veterans and service-members are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable and have completed the required period of service.
Spouses and minor children of eligible veterans of service-members also may be buried in a national cemetery.
VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of veterans anywhere in the world and of eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military post cemeteries. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the cemetery. Niche markers also are available for identifying cremated remains in columbaria.
VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran or a reservist entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate.
VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000 if the veterans’ death is service -connected. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation if they weren’t receiving military retirement pay.
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when a veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. government jurisdiction under the following circumstances: the veteran was discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty; the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension of would have been except for receiving military retired pay; or the veteran died in a VA facility.