Burial Expenses Allowance for Veterans

To provide a monetary allowance not to exceed $300 toward the plot or interment expense for certain veterans not buried in a national cemetery.

Up to $300 as a burial allowance is payable toward the burial expense of certain veterans.

If death is the result of a service-connected disability,
payments can be made to reimburse burial and funeral expenses not to exceed $2,000 or that amount authorized under 5 U.S.C.

8134(a) whichever is greater.

In addition to the statutory burial allowance, the cost of transporting the veterans' remains from place of death to site of burial is paid by VA if death occurs in a VA facility.

The cost of transporting the remains from place of death to the national cemetery in which space is available nearest the veteran's last place of residence may also be paid if death was due to service-connected disability, or at the time of death the veteran was in receipt of or entitled to receive disability compensation, and burial is in a national cemetery.

A headstone or marker may be authorized.

Also, an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran may be provided.

Agency - Department of Veterans Affairs

The Department of Veterans Affairs strives for excellence in patient care and veteran's benefits for its constituents through high quality, prompt and seamless service to United States veterans.

Office - See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Veterans Benefits Administration field offices.
Website Address


Program Accomplishments

In FY 2007, 67,219 burial allowances and 500,000 burial flags were given. FY 2008 estimates are 82,111 burial allowances and 500,000 burial flags. FY 2009 estimates are 84,038 burial allowances and 500,000 burial flags.

Uses and Use Restrictions

No restrictions.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The person who bore the veteran's burial expense or the Funeral Director, if unpaid, is eligible for reimbursement of the burial expense.

The next of kin, friend or associate of the deceased veteran is eligible for the flag.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Bearer of veteran's burial expense or Funeral Director if unpaid.


Burial and plot allowances are payable for a veteran whose discharge was under other than dishonorable conditions and who meet the following criteria: the deceased veteran was discharged or released from active duty for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty; or at the time of death the veteran was entitled to compensation or pension, or the deceased veteran was indigent or the deceased veteran was properly hospitalized at VA expense. In lieu of plot and burial allowances, the service-connected allowance is payable toward the burial expenses of a deceased veteran who died of a service-connected cause. Each wartime veteran, and each peacetime veteran who served at least one enlistment or was discharged or released from active duty because of a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty is entitled to a flag to drape the casket.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination


This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

An application (VA Form 21-530) may be obtained from any VA office or regional office (see Appendix IV of the Catalog) and submitted to the regional office for burial benefits. Headstones and markers must be applied for on VA Form 40-1330 in accordance with the "General Information Sheet" and instructions attached to the application and submit it to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Applications are also available on-line at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/.

Award Procedures

Awards are authorized at the regional office except for headstones and markers.


Application for the burial allowance must be filed within two years of the veteran's burial. Public Law 110-157 effectively exempts state cemeteries from any time limits for submitting a claim for reimbursed plot or interment costs for unclaimed remains only, effective retroactibely for interments or inurnments occuring on or after October 1, 2006. There is no deadline on receipt of the flag.


38 U.S.C. 2301, 2302, 2303, 2306, 2307, 2308.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Approximately 79 percent completed in 90 days or less.


Available through special board. In the event of a denial, claimants are advised of appeal rights and procedures at the time of notification.


Not applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Post Assistance Requirements







Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct Payments) FY 07 $168,875,000; FY 08 est $212,428,000; and FY 09 est $192,598,000.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Up to $300 for plot or interment expenses. Up to $300 for burial allowance if death is not service-connected. Up to $2,000 if death is service-connected. Transportation charges may be covered in certain cases.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

38 CFR 3.1600-3.1611. "Federal Benefits for Veterans and Dependents," VA Pamphlet 80-6-01, $5.00, available from Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-7954. The stock number is 051-000-00233-4.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Appendix IV of the Catalog for Veterans Benefits Administration field offices.

Headquarters Office

Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC 20420. Telephone: (202) 461-9700.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not applicable.

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