VA expands burial benefits for veterans and families

Two women visit a fallen loved one at their final resting place in Arlington National Cemetery on Memorial Day, May 29, 2023 in Arlington, Virginia. The U.S. celebrates Memorial Day each year to honor those who have died while serving in the armed forces. Photo credit Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images

Veterans and their families, caregivers, and survivors now have access to Department of Veterans Affairs expanded burial benefits to help with end-of-life expenses related to a veteran’s gravesite, burial, funeral and transportation of remains to their final resting place.

Burial benefits are available to individuals who pay for a veteran’s burial and funeral costs that are not reimbursed by any other organization.

“Expanding burial benefits means we are able to ensure veterans are honored in their final resting place, and assist their family, caregivers, and survivors during the difficult time of their loved one’s passing,” said VA Under Secretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs.

Updated burial benefits include expanded reimbursement of transportation expenses, including costs for transporting remains, to state or Tribal Veterans’ cemeteries in addition to previously eligible national cemeteries. VA has also instituted a more generous single payment rate for non-service-connected burial benefits. The VA plot or interment allowance to Tribal organizations has also been extended.

VA provides burial benefits for all legal burial types, including cremation, burial at sea and donation of remains to a medical school. Eligible individuals include a surviving spouse or legal partner, surviving child, parent or executor of the veteran’s estate.

“Last fiscal year, VA delivered more than 84,000 burial benefits to families of veterans,” added Jacobs.

VA may also pay burial benefits to a funeral home or third party who handled burial arrangements for a veteran whose remains are unclaimed.

There is no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot or interment allowance, or the transportation benefit. Claims for non-service-connected burial benefits must be filed within two years of the veteran’s burial or cremation. A non-service-connected burial benefit is one where the cause of death was not related to military service.

Learn more about VA burial benefits here.

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Featured Image Photo Credit: Photo by Samuel Corum/Getty Images