Burial Benefits for Veterans
Most U.S. veterans are eligible for burial and memorial benefits through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Cemetery Administration.
Burial at a National Cemetery or a Private Cemetery
- If you are a veteran, veteran’s spouse, or minor child, you are generally eligible for burial at one of the national or state cemeteries located across the United States. Veterans may also be eligible for military funeral honors, burial flags, headstones and markers, and Presidential Memorial Certificates at no cost.
- Veterans buried in private cemeteries may also receive military funeral honors, burial flags, headstones and markers, and Presidential Memorial Certificates at no cost. However, spouses and dependents are not entitled to these items when buried in private cemeteries.
Note: The Army, not the VA, operates Arlington National Cemetery.
Schedule a Burial
To schedule a burial at a VA national cemetery:
- Fax all discharge documentation to 1-866-900-6417 or email it to NCA.Scheduling@va.gov
- Call 1-800-535-1117. Be prepared to state the cemetery of choice, the type of religious emblem for the headstone, the funeral director's contact information, and other information listed in Step 2 on the Schedule a Burial page.
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Life Insurance and Survivor Benefits for Servicemembers and Veterans
If you are in the military, you are automatically signed up for servicemembers life insurance. You can purchase veterans life insurance for a limited time after you are discharged.
Survivor Benefits Plan for Military Retirees
As a military retiree, your pension ends when you die unless you sign up for the Survivor Benefit Plan when you retire.
If you are the survivor of a Department of Defense military retiree, promptly report the military retiree’s death to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service (DFAS). If you are the survivor of a Coast Guard retiree, contact the Coast Guard Pay & Personnel Center.
Benefits for Survivors of Veterans
If you are the dependent or survivor of a servicemember or veteran whose death or total disability is service-related, you may be eligible for a variety of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) survivor benefits and services.
You may also be eligible for CHAMPVA, a health care program in which the VA shares the costs of services and supplies with eligible beneficiaries.
If you are a Survivor Benefit Plan beneficiary, you may also be eligible for VA benefits.
For more information, contact the VA.
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