Burial and Memorial Benefits Eligibility
Servicemembers, Veterans, and family members may qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery and for other burial honors, like a headstone, marker, medallion, burial flag, and Presidential Memorial Certificate. Some family members may also qualify for money to pay for burial costs. Find out if you can get these benefits.
Can I get VA burial and memorial benefits?
You may qualify for burial and memorial benefits if you’re:
- A Veteran who was discharged from the military under conditions other than dishonorable, or
- A Servicemember who died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training, or
- The spouse or dependent child of a Veteran, even if the Veteran died first, or
- In some cases, the adult dependent child of a Veteran (if you aren’t married)
Note: If you have a less than honorable discharge that you believe is unfair or unjust, you can apply for a discharge upgrade. If your application goes through and your discharge is upgraded, you may be able to get VA burial and memorial benefits. Find out how to apply for a discharge upgrade.
What do burial benefits include?
If you qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery, you’ll receive burial benefits at no cost to your family. These include:
- Opening and closing of the grave
- A burial liner provided by the government
- A headstone or marker provided by the government
- Perpetual (ongoing) care of the gravesite
In the event of your death, the person planning your burial can also request other honors and memorials. These may include a:
- Burial flag to drape over the casket (or coffin) or place with the urn
- Presidential Memorial Certificate signed by the current President of the United States
- Headstone, marker, niche cover, or medallion to identify a gravesite located outside a VA national cemetery
If I’m the survivor of a deceased Servicemember or Veteran, what other benefits can I get?
We give the surviving spouse, children, and parents of deceased Servicemembers and Veterans a range of benefits. These may include tax-free monetary benefits and help paying for the funeral service. Learn about survivor benefits.
Can I plan ahead for my burial in a VA national cemetery?
Yes. You can plan ahead to make the process of applying for a burial in a VA national cemetery easier for your family members in the event of your death. To do this, you’ll need to apply for a pre-need eligibility determination. Find out how to apply.
Please note: The pre-need eligibility determination is only for national cemeteries. If you want to be buried in a state or tribal Veterans cemetery, check the site you want ahead of time, since some state Veterans cemeteries require that you live in that state or have other rules around eligibility. Find a state Veterans cemetery.