Burial Benefits, Death Benefits, and Memorial Items for Veterans
If you’re a veteran and your discharge was not dishonorable, you are probably eligible for burial in a national veterans cemetery.
If you’re buried in a private cemetery, your family may be entitled to a veteran’s burial allowance.
You can receive military funeral honors and memorial items whether you’re interred in a veterans cemetery or a private one.
Veterans Burial Benefits and Death Benefits at Private Cemeteries
Family members of some vets buried in private cemeteries may be able to get a veterans death benefit, or burial allowance. Eligible vets include those who received a VA pension or disability compensation when they were alive. The burial allowance can help pay for burial, funeral, and transportation costs.
Veterans buried in private cemeteries can receive military funeral honors and memorial items.
Military Funeral Honors and Memorial Items
Almost all veterans can receive military funeral honors at no cost. They are also usually eligible for free memorial items including:
Headstones, markers, and medallions
Presidential Memorial Certificate
Learn how to apply for veterans memorial items.
Burial in National and State Veterans Cemeteries
VA National Cemeteries
Eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery is typically open to:
Veterans of the armed forces
Service members who died while on active duty
A veteran’s spouse
A veteran’s minor child
See an interactive map and list of Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries.
If you’re a veteran or the spouse of one, you can apply to learn if you qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery. If you do, you’ll get a pre-need decision letter confirming your eligibility. This will make it much easier on your family when they schedule your burial.
Normally, the process to schedule a burial starts with verifying the deceased's eligibility. To schedule a burial at a VA national cemetery, follow these steps.
Arlington National Cemetery
Eligibility for burial at Arlington National Cemetery is stricter than for other national cemeteries. Only active duty, military retirees, former prisoners of war, and recipients of the Purple Heart and other top awards may be buried at Arlington.
See how to schedule a burial at Arlington National Cemetery.
State Veterans Cemeteries
Requirements for burial in a state veterans cemetery are like those for VA cemeteries. They may also have residency requirements.
See a list of state and territory veterans cemeteries.
To schedule a burial at a state veterans cemetery, contact the cemetery directly.