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Partial Reimbursement of Burial Expenses

undefined Partial Reimbursement of Burial Expenses?


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) burial allowance is a monetary benefit that is generally paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran's burial and funeral costs. VA may grant additional benefits for plot, interment, and/or transportation expenses.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) burial allowance is a monetary benefit that is generally paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran's burial and funeral costs. VA may grant additional benefits for plot, interment, and/or transportation expenses.

undefined Partial Reimbursement of Burial Expenses?


VA automatically pays a burial benefit to the eligible surviving spouse of record when a Veteran's death is reported. If no surviving spouse is of record, VA will pay the first living person to file a claim of those listed below:

  • Veteran's surviving spouse; OR
  • The survivor of a legal union* between the deceased Veteran and the survivor; OR
  • Veteran's child(ren), regardless of age; OR
  • Veteran's parents or surviving parent; OR
  • Executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased Veteran. If no executor or administrator has been appointed, VA may pay burial benefits based on a claim filed by a person acting for such estate who will distribute the burial benefits to the person or persons entitled to such distribution under the laws of the Veteran's last State of residence.

*Legal union means a formal relationship between the decedent and the survivor that

  • Existed on the date of the Veteran's death
  • Was recognized under the law of the State in which the couple formalized the relationship, and
  • Was evidenced by the State's issuance of documentation memorializing the relationship.

Other individuals and entities, such as funeral homes, are eligible claimants only if the Veteran's remains are unclaimed.

To qualify for burial benefits, a Veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, and must meet at least one of the following requirements*

  • The Veteran died as a result of a service related disability, OR
  • The Veteran was receiving or entitled to receive VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
  • The Veteran died while hospitalized in a VA medical facility, or while receiving care under a VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
  • The Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment or care, OR
  • The Veteran had an original or re-opened claim pending at the time of death and would have been entitle to VA compensation or pension from a date prior to the date of death, OR
  • The Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

*The above requirements do not apply for Veterans whose remains are unclaimed. For VA to pay a burial allowance in these instances, the remains of the deceased Veterans must be unclaimed, and there must be insufficient resources available in the Veteran's estate to cover the burial expense.

For more specific information, refer to the Burial factsheet.

undefined Partial Reimbursement of Burial Expenses?


To complete an application, you may visit va.gov burial and memorial applications and apply online. You may also download VA Form 21P-530EZ, "Application for Burial Benefits", and mail to Department of Veterans Affairs Pension Intake Center PO Box 5365 Janesville, WI 53547-5365. You may also visit your local regional benefit office and turn in your application for processing. Find your nearest VA regional office.


If you have questions:

  • Visit the Ask VA (AVA) website to ask a question electronically
  • Call 800-827-1000
  • Call 711, if you use a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD)

To apply for VA benefits and services, view your benefit status, and many more services go to www.va.gov and either logon with your eBenefits sign on or use www.Logon.gov to enroll. VA.gov is a one-stop source for information on Department of Defense and Department of Veterans Affairs benefits and services. Veterans, service members and their family members can conduct self-service transactions such as checking compensation and pension claim status information, enrolling in GI Bill, and obtaining copies of civil service preference letters, military records (DD214), and other personal information. For further information visit the VA.gov website.