Many people aren’t aware there are several benefits available to Veterans through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help with the cost of burial or cremation, assist with getting a free headstone or grave marker, a Government Medallion, a burial flag or be given a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Here’s all the information you’ll need to find out what’s available to you.
Reimbursement towards cremation or funeral service. US Veterans are eligible for reimbursement towards a cremation or funeral service. General information about the burial and cremation benefit can be found here or you can start an application here. Veterans also have the option of having their ashes spread or buried in any National Cemetery at no charge. Currently, the VA manages 125 cemeteries. Many still have space for burial while about 25 will only accept cremated remains. The burial benefits also include opening and closing of the grave and perpetual care of the site.
A government headstone or marker. This is available for any eligible Veteran, regardless of the date of death, in any cemetery around the world.
A United States flag can be placed with an urn or on a casket to honor the Veteran. The application for that can be found here.
A Presidential Memorial Certificate. Veterans could also be eligible for this gold-embossed paper certificate with the current President of the United States to honor the memory of the deceased Veteran.
In case you still have questions, we’ve put together an FAQ list about Veterans’ Benefits from the VA:
- Does the VA pay for cremation and burial expenses? Not directly. Some Veterans’ families may be allowed a reimbursement to cover some expenses.
- Can I be buried at Arlington National Cemetery? You will need to contact them to see if you are eligible.
- How can I plan now to be buried in a National Cemetery? You will need to let your family or friends know where your discharge papers are. You can request an advance to see if you are eligible here.
- Is anyone else in my family able to receive a Government headstone or marker in a private cemetery? No, dependents and spouses are not eligible.
- Where can I find out the status of my headstone order? You must contact the cemetery to find out the status of your order.
- Will the VA do a burial at sea? No, they do not. You must contact the Department of the Navy for information.
- How can I get a copy of my military discharge? You will need to reach out to the National Archives here to get a copy of your discharge papers.
- Is there a recommended cleaning method for Government headstones or markers? The VA has provided instructions on the best way to clean those here.
Hopefully, we’ve helped answer your questions. Or if there’s something else you’d like more information on, we’re always here to help! Call us at 513-991-1369 or email us at email@example.com.