We Speak Veteran™

Veterans Advantage Financial™

We Speak Veteran™

Certified Medicare Insurance Planner™* | Retirement Income Certified Professional®*

Medicare | Retirement | Life Insurance | Veterans Only

Table of Contents

Do Veterans Get Buried For Free?

Honorably discharged veterans are eligible for free burial in a National Cemetery. If a loved one is buried in a private cemetery and is a veteran, the VA may be able to provide free burial benefits. This could include a headstone, marker, medallion, and burial flag.

This post will explore the different types of burial benefits available to veterans and their families so that you can make the best decision for your loved ones.

What Does the VA Pay for When a Veteran Dies?

If you meet the requirements, you could get these benefits:

  • The VA will pay for your funeral and burial costs.
  • The VA will also cover the expense of burial or interment.
  • The Veterans Administration (VA) will compensate you for the expense of transferring the Veteran’s remains to their final resting place.

Do All Veterans Get a Flag at Their Funeral?

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs honors the family of a deceased veteran by providing a military funeral flag as a token of his patriotism. The United States Interment Flag is the same as the United States Flag. Department of Veterans Affairs, which satisfies Government requirements. The casket flag size of 5 x 9 and is presented by the VA to veterans of the US. The United States Armed Forces drape the American flag over the caskets of deceased veterans during Military Burial services.

Interment flags are crafted with precision in the USA from 100% cotton. They boast embroidered stars, sewn stripes, and a canvas duck header. The Veterans Administration provides a folding and presentation ceremony for the interment flag. The Veterans Affairs office will also provide a headstone, marker, or medallion to be placed at the grave site.


How Much is the VA Death Benefit?

Deaths on or after September 11, 2001, are entitled to a $2,000 reimbursement for burial expenses from the VA. If an individual dies before September 11, then the maximum amount of money that can be given is lowered to $1,500. In addition, VA may be able to refund you for some or all of the transportation charges if the Veteran is buried at a VA national cemetery. For deaths on or after October 1, 2019, VA will pay up to $796 in burial and funeral expenses (if hospitalized by VA at the time of death) or $300 in burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at the time of death). In addition, a plot-interment allowance of $796 will be given if the veteran is not buried in a national cemetery.

For deaths occurring on or after December 1, 2001, but before October 1, 2011, the VA will pay up to $300 in burial and funeral fees and a $300 plot-interment allowance. If you died while hospitalized by VA on or after April 1, 1988, but before October 1, 2011, VA will provide $300 toward burial and funeral costs. Starting in the fiscal year 2013, the amount you can get for a burial and plot allowance increased yearly based on the Consumer Price Index from the 12 months before.

Who Notifies the VA When a Veteran Dies?

The VA will usually be notified of a veteran’s death by their closest living relative, which is often the deceased spouse. However, if the spouse is deceased or otherwise unable to notify the VA, their children or other close family members may do so instead. In most cases, the estate executor is responsible for notifying the VA of the death.

It is important to remember that funeral directors generally coordinate military funerals and honors when veterans pass away. If the funeral home you are working with also offers military honors, the funeral director may be able to help you by notifying the VA of the death.

Contacting the VA as soon as possible after a death occurs is critical. The VA may require the executor of an estate to reimburse them for any benefits, including retirement checks, that were received after the death of the beneficiary. If you do not resolve this problem quickly, it will become more complex and complicated. Therefore, you will want to have all the paperwork in order before you contact the Veterans Affairs office so that the process is as smooth as possible.

What Information is Needed to Notify the VA of a Veteran’s Death?

After you call the VA to notify them of a loved one’s death, they may request proof. You can secure a death certificate by preparing accordingly. For example, you may require a copy of your loved one’s service record if you want to apply for benefits or request military honors at a burial.

There are a few documents necessary for funeral directors to provide to ensure there is military honor during the funeral. They are:

  • A certified copy of the death certificate, which can be ordered from the funeral home, is required to complete many final tasks.
  • The Social Security numbers of the deceased, their spouses, and any dependent children.
  • Kids’ birth certificates
  • Types of insurance policies
  • If the deceased had any previous marriages, certified copies of the marriage license as well as the death or divorce certificate, will be required.
  • VA claim number if you have one
  • A certified copy of the military service record or DD214A funeral director will need this information to plan the funeral.

Does the VA Pay for a Coffin?

If an indigent veteran has no next of kin, the VA will provide either a casket or cremation urn for burial in a national, state, or tribal veterans cemetery. Veterans buried in private cemeteries are not provided coffins by the VA but may be eligible for other free burial benefits. Veterans and their families should check with their cemetery of choice to learn about available burial options and costs.

Caskets and urns provided by the VA for Veterans buried in national, state, or tribal veterans’ cemeteries are simple yet dignified. The design of Veterans Affairs’ caskets and urns reflect traditional American values and the solemnity of Veterans’ funerals.

The exterior of each casket is constructed of 18-gauge steel and finished with a bronze Veterans Affairs seal. The interior is upholstered in a material similar to that used in fine automobiles, padded with thick foam, and covered with a white fabric liner. A matching pillow is also provided. The Veterans Affairs’ urns are made of bronze and have a capacity of 200 cubic inches.

Make Appointment with Chris Duncan

Scroll to Top