I’m a Veteran – Is the Government Going to Pay for My Funeral?

There is a common misconception that the Veterans Administration will pay for the funeral of a veteran. This is only true if the individual dies while on active duty.

There are burial benefits for veterans, however.  These benefits include burial space at any national cemetery, the opening and closing of the grave, and the marker. If traditional earth burial has been selected by the family, a grave liner (sometimes called a vault) is provided.  If cremation has been selected, there is an option given to either inter the cremated remains in the earth or in a columbarium wall.

Any veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge is eligible for these benefits. These benefits are afforded to the veteran and

  • his/her spouse, and any minor children of an eligible veteran who is unmarried and under the age of 21, or who is under the age of 23 and is pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved educational institution;
  • the unmarried adult child of an eligible veteran, who is permanently physically or mentally disabled of self-support before reaching the age of 21, or reaching the age of 23 if pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved educational institution.  Proper supporting documentation must be provided.

There are a few other instances in which someone may be deemed eligible.

Those not eligible include:

  • former spouses from marriages that have been terminated either by annulment or divorce,
  • family members other than spouses or dependent children,
  • persons found guilty of a capital crime,
  • persons convicted of certain sexual offenses,
  • persons convicted of subversive activities,

A family of a veteran is also given a Flag of the United States of America is recognition of their loved ones service to our nation, as well as a Memorial Certificate from the President of United States.

A veteran is also due military honors at the time of interment.

There are some instances in which a small county benefit may be paid, however this is based on financial need.

Eligibility for all benefits are determined solely by the Veterans Administration, and a Form DD-214 (honorable discharge) is required for us to contact National Scheduling and Eligibility Offices.

On the day a veteran dies, the most difficult thing to locate is the Form DD-214. If you would like to place a copy of it in a prearrangement file here, we would be pleased to help you.
Please contact us if we can help you.