What Benefits Does the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Offer?

Video Transcript

What the Veterans Administration covers, as far as benefits when a person passes away, varies greatly. First of all, they provide a grave space or a cremation niche free of charge to the family.

They also provide the opening and closing of the grave and/or the niche. They also provide an American flag if you’re going to have military honors at a service for your loved one. The Honor Guard would then present that American flag to you. The other item that they receive is a Presidential Certificate.

When it comes to a monetary amount, there’s really a misconception sometimes in how that works. If someone is receiving a monthly allowance or being paid by the Veterans Administration on a monthly basis, they may be entitled to a one-time lump sum from the Veterans Administration.

You really need to check with your local funeral director, provider, and also with your local Veterans Administration. One of the forms that is required is the DD214 form, which is one of the most important forms. That would be required to start this process.

Answers from Other Funeral Directors Around the United States:

Honorably discharged veterans receive a United States flag and burial at a National Cemetery for no charge (also provided to the veterans spouse and any dependent children). If the veteran choses to be buried at a private cemetery, they are eligible for partial reimbursement of expense and a veteran’s marker. Some veterans may receive additional financial reimbursements, but it is dependent on where the death occurs and years of service.
To learn more about veterans’ benefits visit: va.gov.
The VA does not pay for the funeral home cost to be buried or cremated. The only time the VA pays for funeral home cost is if the veteran dies in active duty.

- Abby Schilling
Funeral Director in Richfield, MN

Veterans may receive a headstone, flag, Honor guard, and National Cemetery space for the veteran and their spouse. Double check the VA’s requirements to see what you or your loved one are eligible to receive in benefits.

- C. A. Bankston
Funeral Director in Fort Worth, TX

All veterans who are honorably discharged are entitled to free burial at a National Cemetery. This includes a grave marker and military honors where Taps is played with a brief flag folding ceremony and the flag is presented to the next of kin.

- Michael Sollitto
Funeral Director in Charlotte, NC

If your loved one is a veteran there are benefits that may be available to you. There are National Cemeteries located in many areas throughout North America where the cremated remains may be interred if you so choose. You may be provided with a burial space or a niche and a memorial marker at no cost. You may be entitled to receive an American Flag in honor of your loved ones service in the military and a presidential certificate. If you choose a private cemetery you may be entitled to a flat rate monetary reimbursement that is generally paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. In order to assist you with this process, we will need you to provide us with proof of military service, either a copy of the military discharge papers or the DD2 I 4 form. Benefit eligibility is based on the veteran’s service connection and disability.

- Jessica Watts
Funeral Director in Jacksonville, FL