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Veterans Administration

The Veterans Administration may pay certain benefits to eligible veterans at the time of their death. Benefits may include a United States flag, marker for the grave, and/or burial allowance. The term "eligible veteran" means:

  • All honorable discharged/retired veterans with active duty of service
  • National Guard retirees with at least 20 years of service

All eligible veterans are entitled to:

  • A United States flag
  • Flag presentation and taps from the branch of service served or local American Legion/Veterans of Foreign Wars
  • Flag presentation, taps, rifle guard, pallbearers and chaplain for retired veterans

Veterans who are entitled to burial benefits:

  • If the veteran was receiving pension or compensation from the VA at the time of death or died while hospitalized in a VA medical facility or VA nursing home
  • If the veteran's death is determined to be service connected
  • Transportation expenses from the VA medical center or VA nursing home to the funeral home will be paid by the VA

The following documents are required to receive any VA benefits:

  • DD-214 (Separation Form) or honorable discharge (If either form cannot be located, they can be applied for through the VA office)
  • Certified death certificate
  • Copy of funeral expenses

The surviving spouse or family member should contact the veteran's affairs office to determine entitlement to any VA benefits.

Veterans, service members and dependents are eligible for burial in a national cemetery. Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors making arrangements must apply at the time of death. Burial benefits in a national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, vault and perpetual care. Headstones and markers and their placement are provided at government expense. Services provided by a funeral director are a private expense incurred by the next of kin.