Veterans Burial Benefits: What Are They and What Do They Cover?

Posted on Aug 28th, 2023.

When it comes to honoring those who have served the nation, the commitment extends beyond their time in uniform. 

Veterans' sacrifices are recognized and respected, not only during their service but also as they transition into the next chapter of life. 

As part of this recognition, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers burial benefits that reflect the gratitude and appreciation the country holds for those who have served. 

In this article, we'll delve into the details of veterans burial benefits, shedding light on what they encompass and the support they provide to veterans and their families.

What are Veterans Burial Benefits?

Veterans burial benefits are designed to provide a dignified farewell to those who have served in the armed forces. These benefits are a gesture of respect for the dedication and sacrifices made by veterans during their military service. 

As veterans transition to their final resting place, these benefits ensure that their memory is honored in a way that befits their commitment to the country.

Beyond the symbolic significance, veterans burial benefits also offer practical support to the families of those who have served. The financial burden of funeral and burial expenses can be significant, and these benefits help alleviate some of the stress that families may face during an already challenging time.

What is the Purpose of Veterans Burial Benefits?

The sacrifices made by veterans in service to the nation are immeasurable, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) recognizes the importance of honoring their legacy even after they've passed on. Veterans burial benefits stand as a testament to this commitment, offering not only financial support but also a profound symbol of gratitude for their dedication. 

These are some of the reasons behind veterans burial benefits:

Alleviating Financial Burden

The passing of a loved one is an emotionally challenging time, and the financial aspects can compound the stress. Veterans burial benefits provide families with valuable support during this period, ensuring that the focus remains on honoring the veteran's legacy without the added worry of financial strain.

Preserving a Legacy

Veterans burial benefits go beyond the immediate present; they play a role in preserving the legacy of those who have served. By offering a final resting place in a national cemetery and memorial markers, these benefits ensure that the sacrifices and contributions of veterans are forever remembered.

Does the VA Cover All Funeral Cost?

Many people are under the impression that the VA will cover all costs associated with the funeral proceedings. It will pay some, but not all, of your burial costs, and probably very little of your funeral costs. Of course, all these benefits are only for veterans with at least an "other-than-dishonorable" discharge.

The VA will provide most veterans a free headstone or marker.

Most states also have programs to provide some type of burial or memorial benefits.

Burial and Plot Allowance

The VA will pay a burial allowance to an eligible veteran's family to help defray burial and funeral costs. The burial allowance is a tax-free benefit paid automatically. If you are eligible for a plot allowance the VA requires receipts to show the actual cost paid.

  • If the death occurs while hospitalized by the VA, it will pay a $893 burial allowance and $893 for a burial plot.
  • If the death is considered service-connected, the VA will pay a burial allowance of up to $2,000 and may reimburse some of the costs of transporting remains.
  • If the death isn't service-connected, the VA pays a burial allowance of $300 and $893 for a burial plot
  • For an indigent veteran with no next of kin, the VA will furnish either a casket or cremation urn for interment in either a national, state or tribal veterans cemetery.
  • The Social Security Administration also will pay a death benefit of $255.

These amounts usually change every year.


All veterans with other-than-dishonorable discharges are eligible for free burial in a national VA cemetery. Space is limited; the VA recommends you request a pre-determination of burial eligibility to avoid any delay when the time comes.

Most states have their own veterans cemeteries. Usually, the eligibility requirements are the same as for federal cemeteries.

In most cases, spouses are eligible for burial next to the veteran at little or no cost. Also, markers are provided.

Arlington National Cemetery has very limited space for burial; there is more space available for inurnment of cremated remains. Only certain veterans are eligible for burial at Arlington.

If you wish to be buried in a civilian cemetery, the VA may pay a small fee, as described earlier, for your plot allowance. It will also provide a free headstone. Some states also help with the cost of burial and the cost of setting a headstone.

You can always choose to be buried at sea from a Navy ship.

Whatever the case, it's a good idea to make a plan. Also, remember that the funeral director can help with a lot of this stuff. They know how to submit the paperwork to the VA, and usually how to get the most out of your state benefits as well.

Navigating the realm of veterans burial benefits involves understanding the eligibility criteria and the steps to apply for these honors. Just as each veteran's service is unique, the eligibility requirements for these benefits are varied and contingent upon specific factors. In this section, we'll shed light on who qualifies for veterans burial benefits and outline the process that families can follow to ensure their loved ones receive the recognition and support they deserve.

Who is Eligible for Veterans Burial Benefits?

Eligibility for veterans burial benefits varies based on factors such as the veteran's discharge status, the length of their service, and other criteria. Generally, veterans who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable may be eligible for these benefits.

Applying for Veterans Burial Benefits

To apply for veterans burial benefits, families typically need to provide documentation such as the veteran's discharge papers, death certificate, and any relevant financial information. The application process may vary based on the specific benefit being sought, and families are encouraged to reach out to the VA or a knowledgeable resource for guidance.


If you have questions about veterans burial benefits, eligibility criteria, or how they align with your family's needs, don't hesitate to reach out to us at Family For Life Insurance. Our team is dedicated to assisting you in navigating the complexities of veterans burial benefits and ensuring that the legacy of your loved one's service is celebrated with the dignity and honor it deserves. 

Contact us at (443) 768-8238 or email us at [email protected] for a supportive and informative conversation.

Explore our Burial Insurance service and take proactive step s to secure your family's financial legacy. Let us be your partner in creating a lasting impact for generations to come. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today!

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