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Burial benefits

VA burial benefits can help service members, Veterans, and their family members plan and pay for a burial or memorial service in a VA national cemetery. Family members can also order memorial items to honor the service of a Veteran. Find out how to apply for the burial benefits you've earned, and how to plan for a burial in advance or at time of need.

Details office

What happens in the details office?

  • Assist with deceased Veterans
  • Order autopsy if requested
  • Make funeral arrangements for indigent Veterans
  • First call placed with funeral home for  disposition of deceased
  • Release deceased Veterans to a funeral home
  • Every Veteran receives a burial flag that passes away at the KCVA
  • Process death certificates
  • Provide assistance with military honors, headstone, grave marker, medallions
  • Death benefits are explained (print out forms, assist with filling out forms, and retrieval of DD214)

Burial in a VA National Cemetery

Burial in a VA national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and Veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements, as applicable, and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Burial benefits include opening and closing of the grave, government headstone or marker, and perpetual care of the gravesite. Spouses, minor children and, under certain conditions, dependent unmarried adult children are also eligible for burial even if they predecease the Veteran.

Veterans burial allowance

VA burial allowances are flat rate monetary benefits. They help cover Veterans’ burial and funeral costs. Eligible surviving spouses are paid automatically. This happens upon notification of the Veteran’s death.

There is no need to submit a claim. If the surviving spouse has not been paid automatically, VA will pay whomever files the claim first; the Veteran’s surviving: children, parents, executor or administrator of the estate, and or survivor of legal union.

How much does it pay

Service Connected Death
Died on or after 9/11/01 max $2000
Died before 9/11/01 max $1500

If buried in a VA Cemetery, some or all of the transporting costs remain.

Non Service Connected Death
Veteran dies outside of VA Medical facility: $300 burial allowance, $762 plot
Veteran dies within a VA Medical facility: $762 burial allowance, $762 plot

*payments subject to change*

Burial flags/military honors

A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. The flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. U.S. Post Offices are the primary issuing point for burial flags. Generally, the funeral home will help obtain a flag.

The Department of Defense is responsible for providing military funeral honors. Military honors can be requested on behalf of the Veterans family through the funeral home or the next of kin.

Headstones, markers, and medallions

VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of eligible Veterans in private and government cemeteries.  The VA also provides a bronze medallion that can be  affixed to an existing privately purchased headstone or marker.  The medallion is furnished in lieu of a traditional governmental headstone or marker.

Presidential Memorial Certificate

A Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold embossed paper certificate bearing the official signature of the President of the United States. It honors the memory of a deceased Veteran and expresses the country's grateful recognition of his or her service in the Armed Forces.

Eligible recipients include the deceased Veterans next of kind, relatives and friends, or an authorized service representative acting on their behalf.