Program DescriptionThe Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) burial allowances are partial reimbursements of eligible Veterans' burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service-related, VA may be able to pay two modest allowances:
- One for burial and funeral expense, and
- One for the cemetery plot.
When the cause of death is service-related, the reimbursement comes in the form of a single, larger payment for burial and funeral expenses. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA may pay a reimbursement for transportation costs.
General Program Requirements
Generally, at least one of following additional eligibility criteria must be met. Reimbursement is possible if the Veteran:
- Died because of a service-related disability, OR
- Was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
- Was entitled to receive VA compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retired pay, OR
- Died in a VA medical facility, a medical facility under VA contract, or an approved state nursing home, OR
- Had a claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date of death, OR
- Died while traveling, under proper authorization and at VA expense, to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care.
Commissioned Officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are considered to be active duty members and Veterans, once discharged.
Your Next StepsThe following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this benefit.
Application ProcessTo complete an application, use VA Form 21-530, "Application for Burial Benefits." You can download the form at:
Program Contact Information
- Visit the Inquiry Routing & Information System (IRIS) website to search Frequently Asked Questions or ask a question on-line
- Call 1-800-827-1000
- Call 1-800-829-4833, if you are hearing impaired