PopularHow To Qualify For Military Burial

How To Qualify For Military Burial


Financial Criteria And Matter Of Right

Cremain Burial with Military Honors

Once the Veteran has met the service-related criteria, eligibility for funeral and burial benefits is established either through financial means testing to determine financial need or as a matter of right. Matter-of-right refers to a situation where a VAC medical authority determines that the cause of death is due to service, meaning a condition for which Veterans Affairs Canada provided a disability benefit.

What You Should Know About Pre

VA guidelines include a provision for veterans and their families to seek pre-need eligibility for VA burial benefits. Preparing for this type of determination means youll need to choose a VA national cemetery.

The VA official site reminds applicants that this pre-need process is for VA national cemeteries ONLY and those who want to be buried privately or at Arlington will need to pursue separate pre-need actions with those entities directly.

Getting a pre-need determination is NOT the same thing as a guarantee that a specific VA cemetery is available. Reservations are not available at any VA national cemetery. However, the VA does want to know the preferences of the veteran or family.

As A Surviving Spouse Do I Need To File A Claim For Burial Costs

No, you dont need to file a claim as a surviving spouse, as long as youre listed as the Veterans spouse on the Veterans profile. When we receive notice of the Veterans death, we automatically pay a set amount to those eligible surviving spouses to help pay for the plot, the cost of interment, or transportation of the remains to the cemetery.

If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2021 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 231
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2020, but before October 1, 2021 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 231
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2019, but before October 1, 2020 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 236
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2018, but before October 1, 2019 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 290
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017, but before October 1, 2018 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 195
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016, but before October 1, 2017 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 208
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015, but before October 1, 2016 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 218
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 199
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014 Maximum headstone or marker allowance 205

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What Are Full Military Funeral Honors In The Us

    If you recently lost a loved one who was a current member of the military or a veteran, you may wonder whether they are able to be buried with full military funeral honors. If this describes your situation, let us first express appreciation for your loved one’s service. We are thankful to our current and past military members who chose to spend years of their lives in defense of our country.

    Jump ahead to these sections:

    We would also like to help you navigate the rules and regulations regarding military funerals. Since you are the family member of someone who served your country, you know that the military has an official procedure for everything.

    We have read all the rules on the VA’s website and are ready to teach you what benefits your loved one may be eligible for regarding their funeral.

    What You Need To Know About Burial In Arlington National Cemetery And Similar Facilities

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    In the specific case of Arlington National Cemetery, your pre-need determinations will be handled by the United States Army, which administers this cemetery rather than the Department of Veterans Affairs. The same is true of both United States Soldiers and Airmens Home National Cemetery.

    And finally, those who are interested in cremation and not burial should know that according to the official site, VA does not pay for cremation directly. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home will be at the families expense but cremation expenses may be offset if the family qualifies for a VA Burial Allowance .

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    Find Out If Youre Eligible One Of These Must Describe You:

  • A Veteran who didnt receive a dishonorable discharge when you separated from the military, or
  • The spouse or dependent child of a service member or Veteran, even if the service member or Veteran has already passed away, or
  • In some cases, the adult dependent child of a service member or Veteran
  • We base our decision of whether or not you qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery on your service historyor the service history of the Veteran or service member whos sponsoring your application for burial as a spouse, surviving spouse, or unmarried adult child.

    Note: If a service member dies on active duty, theyre eligible for burial without a pre-need decision letter.

    Fort Snelling National Cemetery

    The cemetery was established in 1870 to serve as a burial ground for the soldiers who died while stationed at the post. Following World War I, as new legislation expanded the eligibility requirements for burial in a national cemetery, the citizens of

    St. Paul organized a petition to designate a national cemetery in their area. In 1937, Congress responded with legislation that authorized a portion of land at Fort Snelling Military Reservation for this purpose. Fort Snelling National Cemetery was established in 1939 with the first burial on July 5, of Capt. George H. Mallon, whose acts of heroism at Meuse-Argonne in France were recognized with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

    Fort Snelling National Cemetery is one of seven properties developed during the period between World War I and World War II to serve large Veteran populations in cities across the country. In May 1960, Fort Snelling Air Force Station transferred 146 acres of land to the national cemetery. One more land transfer of 177 acres followed in 1961, bringing the cemetery to its present size. Because of the frigid winters, about 1,000 graves are dug each fall to be used for winter interments. Fort Snelling National Cemetery was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016.


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    Presentation Of Burial Flag And Playing Taps

    When most people think of a person being buried with full military honors, they think of the military funeral flag presentation. The law states that upon the surviving family member’s request, every eligible veteran should receive a military funeral honor ceremony, which includes the folding and presenting of the burial flag and the playing of taps.

    The honor guard should consist of at least two members of the U.S. armed forces and one of those representatives should come from the deceased veteran’s branch.

    Death Benefits For Survivors Of Veterans

    Overview of VA memorial benefits and how to apply | VA.gov
    • You are paying for the veteran’s burial and funeral costs.

    • No other organization will reimburse you.

    You must be the surviving spouse, legal partner, child, parent, or executor/administrator of the veteran’s estate. The veteran:

    • Must not have received a dishonorable discharge

    • Must have died under one of several certain circumstances, such as they:

    • Were receiving a veterans pension or compensation

    • Had a claim open for compensation or pension

    • Died while receiving VA care

    These examples are not a complete list.

    For more information, contact the VA or call them at .

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    Va National Cemetery Burial Eligibility

    VA national cemetery directors have the primary responsibility for verifying eligibility for burial in VA national cemeteries. A determination of eligibility is usually made in response to a request for burial in a VA national cemetery. VA Regional Offices will also assist in determining eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery. The toll-free number for the nearest VA Regional Office is 800-827-1000.

    The VA burial is broken down into the following groups:

    Members Of Reserve Components And Reserve Officers’ Training Corps

    Reservists and National Guard members who, at time of death, were entitled to retired pay under Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code, or would have been entitled, but for being under the age of 60. Specific categories of individuals eligible for retired pay are delineated in section 12731 of Chapter 1223, title 10, United States Code.

    Members of reserve components, and members of the Army National Guard or the Air National Guard, who die while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while performing active duty for training or inactive duty training, or undergoing such hospitalization or treatment.

    Members of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps of the Army, Navy, or Air Force who die under honorable conditions while attending an authorized training camp or on an authorized cruise, while performing authorized travel to or from that camp or cruise, or while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while engaged in one of those activities.

    Members of reserve components who, during a period of active duty for training, were disabled or died from a disease or injury incurred or aggravated in line of duty or, during a period of inactive duty training, were disabled or died from an injury or certain cardiovascular disorders incurred or aggravated in line of duty.

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    Gather Documentation And Information

    Its essential that you realize that your loved one may receive military honors regardless of if they are buried in a national cemetery.

    If your loved one wished to be buried surrounded by his fellow servicemembers, your first step to schedule a burial is to gather the necessary documents. You’ll need the DD214 or other discharge documents of the veteran, as well as documents to verify a relationship between the veteran and their dependent, to receive these benefits.

    You’ll then need to provide the following information about the deceased: name, gender, Social Security number or military service number, date of birth, marital status, date of death, and ZIP code at the time of death. You’ll also need to provide similar information for the next of kin.

    Is There A Time Limit For Filing

    Military Funerals &  Veteran Services

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

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

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    Commissioned Officers National Oceanic And Atmospheric Administration

    A Commissioned Officer of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with full-time duty on or after July 29, 1945.

    A Commissioned Officer who served before July 29, 1945, and,

    • Was assigned to an area of immediate military hazard as determined by the Secretary of Defense while in time of war, or in a Presidentially declared national emergency or,
    • Served in the Philippine Islands on December 7, 1941, and continuously in such islands thereafter.

    What To Expect After Applying

    VA or WDVA will review pre-need burial applications and provide written notice of a determination of eligibility. VA or WDVA will save the information electronically for future reference and to expedite processing burial claims at the time of need.

    Note: Applicants should save a copy of all documents submitted and the decision letter received. It is also a good idea to communicate with ones loved ones or estate planners where the documents are, and about the preference to be buried in a VA national cemetery.

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    Am I Eligible For A Burial Flag

    You may be eligible for a burial flag if youre the next of kin or a close friend of the Veteran or Reservist and one of these descriptions are true for that person.

    One of these must describe the service of the Veteran or Reservist:

    • They served in wartime, or
    • They died while serving on active duty after May 27, 1941, or
    • They served after January 31, 1955, or
    • They served in peacetime and left military service before June 27, 1950, after serving at least 1 enlistment, or because of a disability that was causedor made worseby their active military service, or
    • They served in the Selected Reserves , or served in the military forces of the Philippines while in service of the United States and died on or after April 25, 1951. For more information on either of these situations, call , Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. ET.

    Burial And Memorial Benefits

    Casket Burial with Military Honors

    Soldiers who die while on active duty, Veterans discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and members of Reserve Components may be eligible for the following Department of Veterans Affairs benefits: burial in a VA national cemetery government-furnished headstone, marker or medallion Presidential Memorial Certificate burial flag and in some cases, Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. The Service members’ Surviving Spouse, dependent Children, biological and adoptive parents and under certain conditions, unmarried adult Children, may be eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

    On April 12, 2021, the Federal Emergency Management Agency began providing financial assistance for COVID-19 related funeral expenses incurred after January 20, 2020.

    Who can apply for COVID-19 Funeral Assistance? You may qualify if:

  • You are a U.S. citizen, non-citizen national, or qualified alien who paid for funeral expenses after January 20, 2020, and

  • The funeral expenses were for an individual whose death in the United States, territories or the District of Columbia, may have been caused by or was likely the result of COVID-19.

  • Please visit the FEMA COVID-19 Funeral Assistance website for more information:

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    Am I Eligible For Allowances To Help Pay For A Veterans Burial And Funeral Costs

    You may be eligible for Veterans burial allowances if youre paying for the burial and funeral costs and you wont be reimbursed by any other organization, like another government agency or the Veterans employer. You must also meet all of these requirements.

    One of these relationships or professional roles describes your connection to the Veteran:

    • Youre the Veterans surviving spouse , or
    • Youre the surviving partner from a legal union , or
    • Youre a surviving child of the Veteran, or
    • Youre a parent of the Veteran, or
    • Youre the executor or administrator of the Veterans estate

    The Veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge, and one of these circumstances must be true:

    • The Veteran died as a result of a service-connected disability , or
    • The Veteran died while getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
    • The Veteran died while traveling with proper authorization, and at VA’s expense, either to or from a facility for an examination, or to receive treatment or care, or
    • The Veteran died with an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death, if they wouldve been entitled to benefits before the time of death, or
    • The Veteran died while receiving a VA pension or compensation, or
    • The Veteran died while eligible for a VA pension or compensation at time of death, but instead received full military retirement or disability pay

    How To Arrange Military Funeral Honors

    To arrange Military Funeral Honors, contact your local funeral home. Upon request of the next of kin or authorized representative, the funeral director requests the honors from the Military Service in which the veteran served. The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration cemetery staff can also assist with arranging Military Funeral Honors at VA national cemeteries. When military funeral honors at a national cemetery are desired, they are arranged prior to the committal service by the funeral home.

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    How Do I Get A Burial Flag To Honor A Veteran Or Reservist

    To get a burial flag, fill out the Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes .

    Bring the application form to:

    • A funeral director, or
    • A VA regional office, or
    • A United States post office. Call ahead to make sure your local post office has burial flags. If they dont, they can direct you to one that does.

    Choose The Va National Cemetery Where Youd Prefer To Be Buried

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    Please note:

  • This application is only for VA national cemeteries. If youd like to be buried in a state or tribal Veterans cemetery, contact that specific cemetery ahead of time to find out about their pre-need program. Some state Veterans cemeteries require that you live in that state or have other rules around eligibility. You can apply for a pre-need determination of eligibility from VA and also from a state or tribal Veterans cemetery.Find a state Veterans cemetery

  • This application doesnt apply to Arlington National Cemetery or the United States Soldiers and Airmens Home National Cemetery. If youd like to be buried in either of these Department of the Army cemeteries, please call . Were here Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. ET, and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET.

  • Getting a pre-need determination of eligibility doesnt guarantee youll be buried in a specific VA national cemetery. We dont take reservations at any VA national cemetery. However, we ask where you prefer to be buried so we can try to help fulfill your final wishes.

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