51st Sig Bn

VA Burial Entitlements

These entitlements could be in excess of $2000

As many of us that served during the times of the 70's and before are getting older, we should become familiar with what burial benefits are available to us. These benefits allow for part and sometimes all burial costs to be paid as a result of our service to our country. Yet so few are even aware of their benefits. Even if they are, they go unclaimed simply because those that are entitled to make the claim such as family members are not aware of them. Under certain circumstances there is no time limit while other circumstance must be done within a time limit.

There are also differences in death as a result of a service connected disability or one that can be associated to a service connected disability, the amount of disability and death because of something that is not service connected. Also, additional benefits are paid depending on where the death occurred and where the burial is to take place at. Even transportation can be paid at times.

I have uploaded the relevant files and regulations associated with making burial claims. You can find within them what the qualifications are for entitlement, instructions of making claims and the necessary information that must be provided among other information.

Most the information provided on this page was obtained directly from the Veterans Benefits Website, but keep in mind, it may change at any time.

A link to all of the files is HERE

Anything provided here is for informational purposes and I highly suggest you contact someone such as a VA Representative to verify and plan ahead before making a claim. They should be knowledgeable and current on all aspects of filing any claim necessary to get the maximum entitlement.



Burial and Associated Expenses

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs. You may be eligible for burial allowance if: (1) you paid for a veteran's burial or funeral AND, (2) you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the veteran's employer AND; (3) the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Eligibility and other conditions below.


WHO IS ELIGIBLE? If the burial benefit has not been automatically paid to the surviving spouse, VA will pay the first living person to file a claim of those listed below:

•Veteran’s surviving spouse; OR

•The survivor of a legal union¹ between the deceased Veteran and the survivor; OR

•The Veteran’s children, regardless of age; OR

•The Veteran’s parents or surviving parent; OR

•The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased Veteran.

¹Legal union means a formal relationship between the decedent and the survivor that existed on the date of the Veteran's death, which was recognized under the law of the State in which the couple formalized the relationship and evidenced by the State's issuance of documentation memorializing the relationship.


The Veteran must also have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

•the Veteran died as a result of a service-connected 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 instead to receive his or her full 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

• 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 for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death and would have been entitled to benefits 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.


First: Not service connected death.

For non service connected deaths on or after October 1, 2001, the VA will pay up to $700 towards burial and funeral expenses (if hospitalized by the VA at the time of death), or $300 towards the burial or funeral expenses (if NOT hospitalized by the VA at the time of death), and a $700 plot internment 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 towards burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-internment allowance. For deaths prior to December 1, 2001, the plot-internment allowance is $150.

Newest Year Rates

• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $745 for a plot.

• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $734 for a plot.

• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2012, but before October 1, 2013, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $722 for a plot.


Also, effective October 1, 2011, there are higher non-service-connected death rates payable if the Veteran was hospitalized by VA when he or she died.
• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, VA will pay a $745 burial allowance and $745 for a plot.

• If such a Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2013, VA will pay a $734 burial allowance and $734 for a plot.

• If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2012, but before October 1, 2013, VA will pay a $722 burial allowance and $722 for a plot.


If the death occurred while the Veteran was properly hospitalized by VA, or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the Veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.

Note: If the Veteran dies while traveling at VA expense for the purpose of examination, treatment or care, VA will pay burial, funeral, plot or interment allowances, and transportation expenses.


Second: Service connected death.

For veteran deaths after September 11, 2001, the person who paid for the funeral is eligible to receive a $2,000 burial allowance from the VA to help offset funeral costs incurred.
• If the Veteran died on or after September 11, 2001, the maximum service-connected burial allowance is $2,000.

• If the Veteran died before September 11, 2001, the maximum service-connected burial allowance is $1,500.

• Also, costs for transporting the deceased may be reimbursed if the burial takes place in a VA National Cemetery and may be available in a State Veterans Cemetery.


How to Apply

There are many Veterans services that will help you in preparing and filing these claims which include often State or County Veteran Service. It is highly suggested that you contact them to assist in correctly filing these claims. Often funeral homes assist and file directly for you and the proceeds can then be paid directly to them, BUT they may not be aware that the Veteran died of a service connected cause so it could lead to a lessor benefit than fully entitled. Make sure if they do that they are aware of the benefits available to this Veteran and that the Veteran is provided with the fullest amount entitled for these services.

To apply for reimbursement of burial expenses, complete a VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits, and mail it to the nearest VA Regional Office. You will also need to submit a copy of the veteran's death certificate, the veteran's DD Form 214 or equivalent military discharge document, a copy of the funeral and burial bills showing that you have paid them in full, and transportation costs bills if claiming reimbursements for transportation. For non-service connected deaths, claims for burial allowance reimbursement should be made within 2 years from the date of the veteran's permanent burial or cremation. There is no time limit to file a claim for service-connected deaths.


Flags

A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U.S. Armed Forces. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for each other than dishonorable discharged veteran that served during a wartime period, that died on active duty after May 27, 1941, who served after January 31, 1955, was a peacetime veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950, certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951, and certain former members of the Selected Reserves.

Who Is Eligible to Receive the Burial Flag?

Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making a request for it.

How Can You Apply for the Burial Flag?

You may apply for the flag by completing a VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you obtain the flag. Contact the VA at (800) 827-1000 for more information.


Headstones, Markers & Medallions

The VA furnishes, upon request and at no charge to the applicant, a government headstone or marker for the un-marked grave of survivors or dependents of any deceased, eligible veteran in any VA national cemetery, state veteran's cemetery, or military post/base cemetery. Memorial headstones and markers for spouses and other dependents are not available for placement in private cemeteries.

Who Can Apply for a Headstone, Marker or Medallion?

Only the decedent's next-of-kin (NOK), authorized representative on behalf of the decedent, or an authorized representative on behalf of next-of-kin. If someone other than the NOK is applying for the headstone, marker or medallion, the application package must include a written statement signed by the NOK or decedent authorizing that person (the applicant) to apply for this benefit. A notarized statement is not required for these purposes.

How to Apply for a Headstone, Marker or Medallion?

When burial is in a private cemetery, a VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker, or a VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion, must be submitted along with the veteran's DD Form 214 or equivalent military discharge document. Both of these forms can be obtained from the Internet by using Google. Do not send original documents as they will not be returned. When the burial or memorialization is in a national, military post/base, or state veterans cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next-of-kin. The VA Form 40-1330 and DD Form 214/military discharge can be faxed to (800) 455-7143. If you use fax, do not mail the document also. The VA Form 40-1330 can be mailed to: Memorial Programs Services (41A1), Department of Veteran Affairs, 5109 Russell Road, Quantico, VA 22134-3903. You can go to www.cem.va.gov/cem/hmm/types.asp to see what type of headstones, markers, and medallions are available.


In addition many states have additional benefits associated with the death of a Veteran that should be checked out thoroughly.

 

 

 

from 51st Signal Battalion Korean Veterans