Regarding Veterans Burial Benefits, Including Cremation
As Director for the San Diego Memorial Society I field the calls that come in to our office. Quite frequently I get the question about veteran’s benefits. So I thought I’d put together some information that addresses these questions.
Does the Veterans Administration Pay for the Funeral?
For a non-service-related death, the VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses. In addition, a $300 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001 is included. The plot-interment allowance is $150 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 or all of the costs for transporting the veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.
The VA doesn’t pay these benefits in advance. You must supply copies of the funeral bills, and they must show that they have been paid in full to qualify for reimbursement. Additionally, if the cause of death wasn’t service-related, you must file your claim within two years from the date of death. There is no time limit for service-connected claims on veterans burial benefits.
Here is the link to begin the application process for reimbursement: https://www.usa.gov/veterans-pension-benefits
What About Veterans Burial Benefits in a National Cemetery?
The National Cemetery scheduling office is responsible for verifying eligibility for burial in a national cemetery. Because many veterans want to be buried at Miramar or at Ft. Rosecrans you will want to find out about this. If you would like to find out if you are eligible check out this website: Are you eligible for veterans burial benefits? You will need to fill out the documents and then FAX them to 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.
Wondering What the Committal Service is like at a National Cemetery?
When you arrive at the cemetery you will be met by a representative who has the deceased’s burial documents. However, a funeral service or place for viewing the body in the casket is not available at these cemeteries. A final committal service can be performed. The services are held in committal shelters away from the grave site. This includes a service lasts about 20 minutes and includes the rendering of military honors. Then, the burial or internment of the ashes takes place after the committal service. To read more about the committal service click here.
Related Links for Veterans Burial Benefits:
- VETERAN FUNERAL BENEFITS: WHAT EXPENSES ARE COVERED?
- 6 Ideas for a Celebration of Life
- Death in One State, Burial in Another – Body Transport After Death