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How to Apply for a Veterans Burial Allowance

Find out how to get Veterans burial allowances to help cover burial, funeral, and transportation costs.

Can I get allowances to help pay for a Veteran’s burial and funeral costs?

You may be able to get burial allowances if you’re paying for the burial and funeral costs, and if any of the below relationships or professional roles describes your connection to the Veteran.

One of these must describe your relationship or role. You’re:

  • The Veteran’s surviving spouse (Note: we recognize same-sex marriages), or
  • A surviving child of the Veteran, or
  • A parent of the Veteran, or
  • The executor or administrator of the Veteran’s estate (someone who officially represents the Veteran)

To get this benefit, the Veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge, and one of the below circumstances must be true.

One of these must be true of the Veteran. They:

  • Died as a result of a service-connected disability (a disability related to service), or
  • Had been getting a VA pension or compensation when they died, or
  • Had chosen to get military retired pay instead of compensation, or
  • Died while getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
  • Died while traveling to approved VA care, or
  • Died with a reopened claim for VA compensation or a pension that would have qualified them to get benefits, or
  • Died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home

Note: We’ll also provide an allowance for the cost of transporting a Veteran’s remains for burial in a national cemetery.

When do I need to file a claim?

You must file a claim for a non-service-connected burial allowance within 2 years after the Veteran’s burial or cremation. If a Veteran’s discharge was changed after death from dishonorable to another status, you must file for an allowance claim within 2 years after the discharge update.

There’s no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot, or interment allowance.

What kind of benefits can I get?

  • An allowance for burial and funeral costs
  • An allowance for the plot or interment
  • An allowance for transporting the Veteran’s remains for burial in a national cemetery

What documents and information do I need to apply?

You may need a copy of:

  • The Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)
  • The Veteran’s death certificate
  • Any documents you have for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains

You can also apply:

By mail
Apply by mail using an Application for Burial Benefits (VA Form 21P-530).
Download VA Form 21P-530.

Mail the application and other paperwork to your nearest VA regional benefit office.
Find your nearest VA regional benefit office.

If you have questions, call 1-800-827-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (ET). Our TTY number for people with hearing impairments is 711. Or call your VA regional benefit office.


Burial Allowance Amounts

What are the burial allowance amounts for a service-connected death?

Status Maximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after September 11, 2001 $2,000
If the Veteran died before September 11, 2001 $1,500
If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery We may pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains

What are the burial allowance amounts for a non-service-connected death?

Status Maximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $762 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $749 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015 We’ll 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 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $745 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $734 for a plot

What are the burial allowance amounts if the Veteran was hospitalized by VA at the time of their death?

Status Maximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017 We’ll pay a $762 burial allowance and $762 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016 We’ll pay a $749 burial allowance and $749 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015 We’ll 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 We’ll 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 We’ll pay a $734 burial allowance and $734 for a plot
  • We may also pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains if they were hospitalized or in a VA-contracted nursing home at the time of death.
  • We may pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains if they died while traveling to VA-authorized care.

Note: If a Veteran’s remains aren’t claimed, we’ll pay the person or organization responsible for the Veteran’s burial a $300 burial allowance. If the deceased qualifies, we may pay you back for the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains to a VA national cemetery.