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Handling Burial Costs (Allowances)

If you’re the spouse of record (the legally recognized spouse) or a designated (legally chosen) family member of a Veteran who died, we may pay you a set amount for burial and funeral costs. This is called an allowance. You may also qualify for plot or burial allowances to help pay for the area of land used for the burial and other costs related to the burial. We may help with transportation costs as well. Find out how to get allowances.

Can I get burial allowances?

You may be able to get burial allowances if you’re:

  • The Veteran’s surviving spouse (Note: we recognize same-sex marriages), or
  • A surviving child of the Veteran, or
  • A parent of the Veteran, or
  • The executor or administrator (someone who officially represents the deceased) of the Veteran’s estate

To get this benefit, the Veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, and must have:

  • Died as a result of a service-connected disability (a disability related to service), or
  • Been getting a VA pension or compensation when they died, or
  • Been qualified to get a VA pension or compensation, but chose not to, or
  • Died while getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
  • Died while traveling to approved VA care, or
  • Died with a reopened claim for VA compensation or a pension that would have qualified them to get benefits, or
  • Died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

What kind of benefits can I get?

  • An allowance for burial and funeral costs
  • An allowance for the plot or burial
  • A transportation allowance

How do I get these benefits?

  • Fill out the Application for Burial Benefits (VA Form 21P-530). Download VA Form 21P-530.

  • Attach a copy of the Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents).

  • Attach a copy of the Veteran’s death certificate.

  • To get paid back for transportation costs, attach receipts that show how much you paid.

  • Mail the application form and other paperwork to your local Regional Benefits Office. Find your local regional benefits office.

  • If you have questions, call 800-827-1000 (our TDD number for the hearing-impaired is 711) or call your regional benefits office.

What are the burial allowance amounts for a service-connected death?

Status Maximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after September 11, 2001 $2,000
If the Veteran died before September 11, 2001 $1,500
If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery We may pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains

What are the burial allowance amounts for a non-service-connected death?

Status Maximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $747 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $745 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014 We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $734 for a plot

What are the burial allowance amounts if the Veteran was hospitalized by VA at the time of their death?

Status Maximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015 We’ll pay a $747 burial allowance and $747 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015 We’ll pay a $745 burial allowance and $745 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014 We’ll pay a $734 burial allowance and $734 for a plot
  • We may also pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains if they were hospitalized or in a VA-contracted nursing home at the time of death.
  • We may pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains if they died while traveling to VA-authorized care

Note: If a Veteran’s remains aren’t claimed, we’ll pay the person or organization responsible for the Veteran’s burial a $300 burial allowance. If the deceased qualifies, we may pay you back for the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains to a VA national cemetery. We may also pay you back for the cost of a plot.