Veteran Benefit Questions
Please note military documentation must be provided to receive any of the following benefits.
The Veterans Administration (VA) provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and to a person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate. VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was missing in action and later presumed dead. Your funeral director will make arrangements to obtain the American flag for your loved one.
Military honors can be arranged by your funeral director to be held at graveside or as a part of a service. Military honors should be arranged at the time of the original appointment with your funeral director to secure the service time with the local military honor guards.
Headstones and Markers
VA provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans anywhere in the world and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. The VA will pay for the shipping expense, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave. Your funeral director can assist in obtaining the marker for your loved one.
Presidential Memorial Certificates
The Presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends. Your funeral director will provide information for obtaining these certificates at time of your loved one's death.
Burial in VA National Cemeteries
Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at the government's expense. For information regarding eligibility, ask your funeral director or contact the VA Administration at the following:
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses
The VA will pay a burial allowance to qualifying veterans that may include a burial space and transportation costs. Eligibility is reviewed by the VA Administration and this process may take up to one year from the date of death. Applications may be made at a local VA office or by your funeral director. All applications must be submitted within 2 years of the date of death.
To obtain any additional information regarding any of the above, please contact the VA Administration:
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs -
810 Vermont Avenue, NW - Washington, DC 20420
www.va.gov or 800-827-1000