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VA Memorial Benefits

VA takes special care to pay lasting tribute to the memory of Veterans who served and sacrificed and that of their families. VA meticulously maintains 135 VA national cemeteries in 40 states and Puerto Rico and is working to increase access to accommodate Veterans and eligible family members close to home. In a few years, 95 percent of Veterans will have a burial option in an open VA, state or tribal veterans cemetery located within 75 miles of their home. Some benefits are also available for Veterans who choose burial in a private cemetery.

Veterans with a qualifying discharge are entitled to VA burial benefits. Spouses and dependent children are eligible too, even if they predecease the Veteran.

The following burial benefits may be provided:

Burial in a VA national cemetery

  • Opening and closing of the grave or burial of cremated remains or placement in an above-ground vault, also called a columbarium
  • A government furnished grave liner
  • Perpetual care of the gravesite
  • A headstone or marker with an inscription
  • A burial flag
  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate
  • Transportation of flower arrangements from the committal service shelter to the gravesite

Burial in a private cemetery

Please note that gravesites in a VA national cemetery cannot be reserved in advance. To prepare for a private cemetery burial, VA suggests families review these questions and complete required forms in advance.

VA Requirements

VA Application Process

Burial in a VA national cemetery

  • To determine eligibility before the time of need: (Read More)

    • Submit VA Form 40-10007 along with a copy of the DD-214 or supporting documentation of military service if readily available by:
      • Toll-free fax at 1-855-840-8299
      • Mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151
    • VA will review pre-need burial applications and provide written notice of a determination of eligibility.
    • VA will store the pre-need application, supporting documentation, and the decision letter to expedite burial arrangements at the time of need.
  • To request burial at the time of need when eligibility has been determined: (Read More)

    • At the time of need family members should contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-800-535-1117.
    • VA will locate your pre-need decision letter and validate the determination.
    • VA will verify pre-need decisions in accordance with the laws in effect at that time.
  • To establish eligibility at the time of need: (Read More)

    • At the time of need, family members should scan and email the DD-214 form or other discharge papers if readily available to or fax them to 1-866-900-6417 and follow up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
    • Make arrangements with a funeral home, National Cemetery Scheduling Office or directly with a VA national cemetery.
    • Although burial plots cannot be reserved, you can plan ahead by safeguarding military discharge papers and discussing end-of-life planning with loved ones.

Burial in a private cemetery

  • To receive a headstone, marker, or medallion: (Read More)

    • Visit the national cemetery administration headstones, markers, and medallions page to download and fill out VA form 40-1330.
    • Return your completed form with a copy of the Veteran’s DD-214 to:
      Memorial Programs Service (41B)
      Department of Veterans Affairs
      5109 Russell Road
      Quantico, VA 22134-3903
    • Or fax claims and supporting documents to 1-800-455-7143. If you are submitting more than one claim, fax each claim package (claim and supporting documents) in individual fax transmissions.
  • To receive a burial flag: (Read More)

    • Visit the National Cemetery Administration Burial Flags page to download and fill out VA Form 27-2008.
    • Take the completed form to the funeral director, a VA Regional Office or a U.S. Post Office flag issuing station.
  • To receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC): (Read More)

  • To apply for a VA Burial Allowance: (Read More)

    • Download and fill out VA Form 21-530.
    • Mail your completed form with a copy of the Veteran’s DD-214, death certificate, paid receipts, and other applicable documentation to the VBA regional office located in your state. You can find an office on the Facility Locator Page.
    • You can also apply online.

You can learn more about VA Burial Allowances and eligibility on this special compensation overview page.

photo: Mike

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