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Death Benefits and Burial Programs Available to Veterans

Published: August 9, 2020

Navigating the information put out by the government on veterans benefits can be tricky. Which is why we wanted to give you a simple resource for answers to all your questions. We’ve gathered sources that will be extremely helpful for you and your family when determining certain death benefits and burial programs available to veterans.

There will come a time when the veteran’s surviving family members will have to think about the place, time and cost of burial for their deceased loved one. As a veteran, below you will find the different burial programs and death benefits that are available to you or your loved ones. For more information, please visit our website for further details about veteran arrangements by clicking here.

National Cemetery Benefits

All veterans are entitled to burial in one of the 136 national veterans cemeteries, a headstone or marker, and a burial flag. In a national veteran cemetery, there will be no charge for the gravesite, opening and closing the grave, a vault or liner, and setting the marker.

Cremated remains, which can be placed in an urn, are also buried in national cemeteries and given the same benefits that casketed burials are given. The VA does not have national cemeteries in all the states, but its National Cemetery Administration manages 131 of these cemeteries in Puerto Rico and 39 states, as well as 33 soldiers’ monument sites and lots.

Private Cemetery Burials

For burial in a private cemetery, veterans will only receive a free government-issued headstone or marker and a flag. Usually a family is responsible for all other expenses, such as body preparation, casket or urn, and transportation. Burial allowances may also be given to eligible veterans. The allowances help meet the funeral and interment needs. These benefits are however not given to dependents and spouses buried in private cemeteries.

Burial Allowance Benefits

These are partial expense compensations given to eligible veterans to cover the costs of the funeral and burial. A maximum of $2,000 is paid by VA to cover burial expenses for passing that is service-related. Expenses incurred while transporting the deceased to a VA national cemetery for burial will either be partially or fully repaid by VA.

A maximum of $3,000 will be given for burial and funeral expenses in the case of a non-service related death of a veteran. A plot-interment allowance of $300 will also be given. If the veteran passed while undergoing treatment in a VA hospital or while in a nursing home care contracted by VA, the expenses incurred for transporting the deceased will be repaid either partially or fully.

When the death cause is not related to service, the compensations will be given in two payments:

- Burial and funeral cost allowance.

- Burial plot allowance.

You will be eligible to receive VA burial allowance if you meet the following requirements:

- You covered the veteran’s funeral and burial expenses.

- Any government agency, other sources (e.g., the veteran’s employer) has not compensated you for the expenses incurred.

- The discharge of the deceased veteran from service was under honorable conditions.

You must also check if at least one of the following conditions was fulfilled by the deceased:

- A service-related disability caused the veteran’s death.

- VA compensation or pension was being paid to the veteran at time of passing.

- The veteran decided not to decrease his military disability or retirement pay despite the fact that he was entitled to be given compensation or pension by VA.

- The veteran’s passing happened while he was under care in a VA hospital, a nursing home contracted by VA or in an authorized state nursing home.

For you to apply for the benefits, fill out VA form 21-530. When submitting the form, attach documents supporting the veteran’s military service (DD 214), burial and funeral bills paid and the veteran’s death certificate.

We take great pride in providing veterans with respectful, dignified funerals and burials befitting of their service. When we provide these services, our professionals work to treat every memorial like a unique celebration of life, complete with traditional military honors, including the folding of the flag, gun salute, and the playing of "Taps".

Here at Roupp Funeral Home, we work hard to guarantee that our veterans receive the honors in death that their service in life merited. If you are interested in learning more about veterans burial benefits, reach out to us today by calling: 1-570-966-2402

You honored us with your service, now let us honor you.

To reach the regional Veterans office in your area, call 800-827-1000, or visit

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