Program Description

VA's Veterans Cemetery Grant Program is 100% percent funded program except for the funding of operations and maintenance designed to complement VA's 131 national cemeteries across the country. The Veterans Cemetery Grants Program helps states, federally recognized tribal governments or U.S. Territories establish new Veterans cemeteries, and expand or improve existing veterans cemeteries. To date, the VA program has helped establish, expand, improve, operate and maintain 95 Veterans cemeteries in 47 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Northern Mariana Islands, and Guam, which provided more than 35,000 burials in fiscal year 2015. VA has awarded grants totaling more than $665 million.

General Program Requirements

  • A grant request can only be made by a state, territorial or tribal government official.
  • Title to the cemetery land must be vested in the state or tribe
  • The state must have written approval from VA of the final working drawings and specifications before the project is placed on the market for bidding.
  • The law forbids retroactive approvals.
  • The cemetery should consider a 50 year life span at minimum, however our program develops in 10 year increments
  • The cemetery must have a 20 year life span at minimum.
  • Veteran Cemetery Grants Program/Grant Information Kit
  • Reimbursements and Payment Information

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

A state, territory, or tribal government seeking grant funding for a Veterans cemetery project must apply to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs in accordance with 38 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) Part 39. The applicant must also conform with the Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Cooperative Agreements to State and Local Governments, 38 CFR Part 43, known as the "Common Grants Management Rule."

The applicant must have clear legislative authority from the state or tribal government to apply for the grant. The applicant must have the funds necessary to begin design and planning work. Federal funds are awarded on the basis of the bids received for construction. State, territory, or tribal government funds are needed to prepare plans and specifications prior to bidding. Once the successful bidder has been determined and VA has awarded the grant, the state or tribe may be reimbursed for allowable costs already incurred. The applicant must provide written assurance that any cemetery established, expanded, or improved through a grant will be maintained and operated in accordance with the operational standards and measures of the National Cemetery Administration. The Veterans Cemetery Grants Program must receive applications by July 1st for projects to be funded in the next Federal Fiscal Year (October 1 through September 30). The pre-application process is done by going to Applications must be reviewed by the State VA Official or Tribal Leader prior to submission.

Program Contact Information

George D. Eisenbach Jr.

Additional Information

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number64.203
Current Method of Tribal EligibilityProgram Only for Tribes/Native Organizations
Can the funding from the program be renewedYes
Funding TypeDiscretionary
Entities Eligible for Grant AssistanceStates, U.S. Territories and the 564 federally recognized tribal governments are eligible to receive grants to establish, expand, and improve State or Tribal Veterans Cemeteries.
Matching Funds RequiredYes
Number of People Served by this Program (Approximate)Currently there are 90 State and 5 Tribal Veteran Cemeteries located in 47 States.
Length of ProgramFunding is received each Fiscal Year
Recurring Base Funding for TribesNo
Do Tribes compete with other entities for funding from the program?Yes. Tribes compete with States and U.S. Territories
Tribes Funded by this ProgramCurrently, there are 5 fully operational Tribal Veterans Cemeteries throughout the country. Four more are being established and 12 are currently on the Priority List for future funding.

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