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Burial Benefits


WHAT ARE VA BURIAL ALLOWANCES?

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot or interment allowance.

WHO IS ELEGIBLE?

You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:

  • you paid for a Veteran’s burial or funeral, AND
  • you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased Veteran’s employer, AND
  • the Veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • the Veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR
  • the Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death, OR
  • the Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR
  • the Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
  • 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 reopened 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
  • the Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA–approved state nursing home.

HOW MUCH DOES VA PAY? 

Service-Related Death. 
VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 10, 2001. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some of all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.

Non-service-Related Death.
For deaths on or after October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $700.00 toward burial and funeral expenses (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $700.00 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery). For deaths on or after December 1, 2001, but before October 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $300.00 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300.00 plot-interment allowance. The plot-interment allowance is $150.00 for deaths prior to December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the Veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some of all of the costs for transporting the Veteran’s remains may be reimbursed. An annual increase in burial and plot allowances, for deaths occurring after October 1, 2011, begins in fiscal year 2013 based on the Consumer Price Index for the preceding 12-month period.

HOW CAN YOU APPLY?

You can apply by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the Veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full.

A Lindquist Mortuaries and Cemeteries representative would gladly assist you in completing this form and request. Please call (877) 394-6667 or email: information@lindquistmortuary.com.

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