Benefits | Burial & Memorial Benefits


Veterans discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable; Servicemembers who die while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty training; and spouses and dependent children of Veterans and active duty Servicemembers, may be eligible for VA burial and memorial benefits.

Please note that all required VA Forms can be obtain either online or in our office.


Burial in VA National Cemeteries

For information and resources regarding eligibility for burial and locations of VA national cemeteries, please visit either www.cem.va.gov or www.cem.va.gov/cems/state.asp?STATE=NC.



Surviving Spouses of Veterans

Surviving spouses of veterans may be eligible for burial with their deceased veteran spouse. Unmarried dependent children of Veterans who are under 21 years of age, or under 23 years of age if a full-time student at an approved educational institution, are eligible for burial. Unmarried adult children who become physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before age 21, or age 23 if a full-time student, also are eligible.

VA's National Cemetery Scheduling Office or local national cemetery directors verify eligibility for burial. A copy of the Veteran's discharge document that specifies the period(s) of active duty and character of service is usually sufficient to determine eligibility. A copy of the decreased's death certificate and proof of relationship to the Veteran (for eligible family members) may be required.

Contact the national cemetery directly, or visit the VA's website at VA.gov to determine if a particular cemetery is open for new burials, and what other options are available.



Headstones, Markers, and Medallions

The department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death. More information on Headstones, Markers, and Medallions can be found at www.cem.va.gov/hmm.



Headstones or Markers for Private Cemeteries

Before ordering, the next of kin or authorized representative should check with the cemetery to ensure that the Government-furnished headstone or marker will be accepted. All installation fees at private cemeteries are the responsibility of the applicant. To submit a claim for a headstone or marker for a gravesite in a private cemetery, use VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker (available here). A copy of the Veteran's military discharge document is required. Mail forms to Memorial Programs Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, 5109 Russell Road, Quantico, VA 22134-3903. The form and supporting documents may also be faxed toll free to 1-800-455-7143.



Inscriptions

Headstones and markers must be inscribed with the name of the decreased, branch of service, and year of birth and death. They also may be inscribed with other optional information, including an emblem of belief, space permitting, additional text including military rank, war service such as "World War II," complete dates of birth and death, military awards, military organizations, civilian or Veteran affiliations, and personalized words of endearment.



Medallion in Lieu of Government Headstone or Marker for Private Cemeteries

For certain Veterans or service members, the VA is authorized to provide a medallion instead of a headstone or marker if the grave is in a private cemetery and already marked with a privately-purchased headstone or marker. To submit a claim for a medallion to be affixed to a private headstone/marker in a private cemetery, use VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion (available here). A copy of the Veteran's military discharge document is required. Mail forms to Memorial Program Services, Department of Veteran's Affairs, 5109 Russell Road, Quantico, VA 22134-3903. The form and supporting documents may also be faxed toll free to 1-800-455-7143.



Presidential Memorial Certificates

Presidential memorial certificates are issued to recognize the military service of honorably discharged deceased Veterans and persons who died in the active military, naval, or air service. Next of kin, relatives, and other loved ones may apply for a certificate by mailing or faxing a completed and signed VA Form 40-0247, Presidential Memorial Certificate Request Form (available here), along with a copy of the Veteran's military discharge documents or proof of honorable military service. The processing of requests sent without supporting documents will be delayed until eligibility can be determined. Eligibility requirements can be found at www.cem.va.gov/cem/pmc.asp.



Reimbursement of Burial Expenses

VA will reimburse up to a certain amount in burial allowance for qualifying Veterans. See specific information on amounts and eligibility at www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/factsheets/burials/burials.pdf.



Burial Allowances

VA will reimburse up to a certain amount in burial allowance for qualifying Veterans. See specific information on amounts and eligibility at www.benefits.va.gov/benefits/factsheets/burials/burial.pdf.



Plot Allowances

VA will pay a plot allowance up to a certain amount when a Veteran is buried in a cemetery not under U.S. government jurisdiction here.



Military Funeral Honors

Upon request, DoD will provide military funeral honors consisting of folding and the presentation of the United States flag and the playing of "Taps." A funeral honors detail consists of two or more uniformed members of the armed forces, with at least one member from the deceased's branch of service.

Family members should inform their funeral director if they want military funeral honors.



Veterans Cemeteries Administered by Department of the Army

Administers Arlington National Cemetery and other Army installation cemeteries. Eligibility is generally more restrictive than VA national cemeteries. For information, call (703)607-8000, write Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA 22211, or visit the Arlington National Cemetery Website.