Veteran Burial and Memorial Benefits

Here is a brief overview of veteran benefits. For more information visit the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs: www.cem.va.gov/

ELIGIBILITY

Veterans discharged from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable and service members who die while on active duty, as well as spouses and dependent children of veterans and active duty service members, may be eligible for VA burial and memorial benefits. The veteran does not have to pre-decease a spouse or dependent child for them to be eligible. For the reserves or National Guard, eligibility is not established by active duty for training.

BURIAL BENEFITS AVAILABLE FROM THE NATIONAL CEMETERY ADMINISTRATION

Requests for burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery cannot be made via the Internet.   The VA does not make funeral arrangements or perform cremations.  Families should make these arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office.  Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the families expense.

FOR BURIAL IN A NATIONAL CEMETERY

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 131 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains. Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

FOR BURIAL IN A PRIVATE CEMETERY

Burial benefits available for Veterans buried in a private cemetery include a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. There are not any benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.

FOR BURIAL IN A PRIVATE CEMETERY

VA provides inscribed headstones and markers for veterans’ graves. The headstone or marker will be delivered at no cost, anywhere in the world. Inscription: Headstones and markers must be inscribed with the name of the deceased, branch of service and year of birth and death. They also may be inscribed with other markings, including a Star of David, space permitting. To order a headstone for a private cemetery, the family must complete VA form 40-1330,* along with a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document and a death certificate must be mailed to Memorial Programs Service (41A1), Department of Veterans Affairs, 5109 Russell Rd., Quantico, VA 22134-3903 or fax documents to 800.455.7143. The family may be required to pay the cemetery for the installation and foundation cost for the headstone or marker. Give copies of your paperwork for the headstone, along with payment, to Chicago Jewish Funerals. We can help you determine the foundation charges from the cemetery selected. *Chicago Jewish Funerals will obtain the form for you or also available through http://www.va.gov/vaforms/va/pdf/VA40-1330.pdf.