How to Apply
Upon the death of the Veteran or his or her spouse or dependent, also called the time of need, family members should locate the Veteran’s DD-214 or other discharge papers and click ‘get started’ to schedule a burial in a VA national cemetery. Then make arrangements with a funeral home, National Cemetery Scheduling Office or directly with a VA national cemetery.
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 134 VA national cemeteries in 39 states and is adding new cemeteries to accommodate Veterans and loved ones in their time of need. In a few years, 95 percent of Veterans will have a burial option in an open VA, state or tribal veterans cemetery located within an hour’s drive 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.
- Discharge papers to establish your eligibility for burial services
- Burials in a national cemetery take place during the week and cannot be conducted on a federal holiday.
VA Application Process
Burial in a VA National Cemetery
It takes about 10 minutes to establish eligibility.
- At the time of need, family members should fax the DD-214 form or other discharge papers 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)
- To receive a burial flag: (Read More)
- To receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC): (Read More)
- To apply for a VA Burial Allowance: (Read More)
You can learn more about VA Burial Allowances and eligibility on this special compensation overview page.
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