Burial Allowance

Eligibility for Burial Allowance

You may be eligible for Veterans burial allowances if you’re paying for the burial and funeral costs and you won’t be reimbursed by any other organization, like another government agency or the Veteran’s employer. You must also meet all of these requirements.

One of these relationships or professional roles describes your connection to the Veteran:

  • Veteran’s surviving spouse, or
  • Veteran's surviving partner from a legal union (a relationship made formal in a document issued by the state recognizing the union), or
  • Surviving child of the Veteran, or
  • Parent of the Veteran, or
  • Executor or administrator of the Veteran’s estate (someone who officially represents the Veteran)

The Veteran must not have received a dishonorable discharge, and one of these circumstances must be true:

  • The Veteran died as a result of a service-connected disability (a disability related to service), or
  • The Veteran died while getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
  • The Veteran died while traveling with proper authorization, and at VA's expense, either to or from a facility for an examination, or to receive treatment or care, or
  • The Veteran died with an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death, if they would’ve been entitled to benefits before the time of death, or
  • The Veteran died while receiving a VA pension or compensation, or
  • The Veteran died while eligible for a VA pension or compensation at time of death, but instead received full military retirement or disability pay


  • The Veteran had been getting a VA pension or compensation when they died, or
  • The Veteran had chosen to get military retired pay instead of compensation

What kind of burial benefits can I get?

If you’re eligible, you may receive these benefits:

  • VA burial allowance for burial and funeral costs
  • VA plot or interment allowance for the cost of the plot (gravesite) or interment
  • VA transportation reimbursement for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains to the final resting place

Note: You'll need to pay for these services or other costs first before you apply for an allowance.

Is there a time limit for filing?

You must file a claim for a non-service-connected burial allowance within 2 years after the Veteran’s burial or cremation. If a Veteran’s discharge was changed after death from dishonorable to another status, you must file for an allowance claim within 2 years after the discharge update.

Note: There’s no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot, or interment allowance.

What documents do I need to send with my application?

  • The Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)
  • The Veteran’s death certificate
  • Any documents or receipts you have for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains
  • A statement of account (preferably with the letterhead of the funeral director or cemetery owner) that has this information:
    • The Veteran’s name, and
    • The type of service or item purchased, and
    • Any credits, and
    • The unpaid balance