Do Veterans Get a Free Funeral Know the Truth

Do Veterans Get a Free Funeral Know the Truth


If a veteran dies who pays for the funeral? Are veterans buried for free? These are the must-know facts that one should be aware of. So, we have gathered all possible information that you need to be aware of, as a lot of questions continue to surround you for the details of burial benefits for veterans!

Keep reading to know the Funeral Benefits for Veterans: A Veteran, service member, or family member will receive burial benefits if they qualify as per the eligibility criteria decided by the Veterans Administration. Even though most veterans do receive burial benefits however certain regulations by the veteran’s administration are important to be looked at before applying.

To make it easier for their family members a few veterans have even opted to plan ahead of time the process of their burial for after they are gone.  One must keep in mind that, to be able to do this they will need to apply for a pre-need eligibility determination. To be able to plan this without any errors or confusion you can go through the VA Survivors and Burial benefits kit, which will guide you completely.

This kit will include Information about survivor’s benefits, Sample forms your family members may need to fill out and a section where you can also record the personal information that your family members may need later on, you will also be able to mention the location of certain important documents like your birth certificate, any disease or injury-related paperwork or your will.


Do VA Benefits Pay For Cremation?

If it was a service-related death (a death occurring while on duty or death related to an injury related to service even after being honorably discharged) then based on other eligibility factors VA will pay a sum of up to $2000 as a part of VAburial allowance. Even the transporting cost is reimbursed in certain cases where a veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery.

However, if it was a non-service related death and the person was hospitalized by the VA at the time of death then VA will pay up to $796 towards the funeral expense. In case, the person wasn’t hospitalized by the VA at the time of death then the VA will pay $300 toward burial expenses. A person who was drawing a military pension or disability at the time of death also comes under the category of non-service-related death.


What Are The Funeral Benefits for Veterans?

Do Veterans Get a Free Funeral Know the Truth


National VeteranCemetery: –

In the event of the death of an eligible veteran, if they are buried in any of the National Cemetery then under the VA burial benefits, they are entitled to:

  • A gravesite in any accessible cemetery that has available space
  • The opening and closing of the grave
  • Perpetual care
  • A government headstone or marker,
  • A burial flag and
  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate

Spouses and dependents of eligible veterans are entitled to receive a burial with the veteran, along with perpetual care, and the name and date of birth and death inscribed.


Private Cemetery: –

In the event of the death of an eligible veteran if their burial is conducted in a private cemetery then they are entitled to receive

  • A Government headstone or marker
  • A Burial flag, and
  • A Presidential Memorial Certificate.

To receive the above-mentioned benefits, a family member must complete VA Form 40-1330 in advance and place it with the veteran’s military discharge papers. Please note that the Spouses and dependents are not eligible for any benefits in case they are buried in a private cemetery.

You must be aware that VA burial allowances are automatically paid once the VA gets notified of the veteran’s death, however, if for some reason the automatic payment is not made then any eligible person can file a claim to receive the allowance. Current surviving spouses, surviving children, parents, or the executor of the estate are eligible to file for this claim.

Currently, there are more than 100 National veteran cemeteries around the world that are operated by the Veterans Administration and provide no-cost burial benefits for eligible veterans, service members, and family members.


Do All Veterans Get Death Benefits? Eligibility Criteria!

  • A serviceman who was a member of the United States and has died on active duty
  • A veteran who was discharged for any condition other than being dishonored.
  • Veterans with a history of multiple discharges are reviewed case by case.
  • A person who has served honorably during wartime with an allied Armed Force and was a citizen of the United States at the time of entry into the service and at the time of death.
  • A veteran who died while being hospitalized or during a treatment being done at the government expense for an injury or disease incurred while performing active or inactive duty training.
  • A veteran who was in an authorized training camp or cruise, or while at authorized travel to and from the camp or cruise or while being hospitalized or getting treated for any injury or disease caused during one of those activities.


Eligibility Criteria For Spouse And Dependents: –

Do Veterans Get a Free Funeral Know the Truth
  • Even if the eligible veteran was not buried in a veteran’s cemetery, their spouse will still be eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
  • A spouse of an eligible veteran who has now died, even after remarriage to a non-veteran based on their previous marriage to an eligible veteran.
  • Children of a veteran who were unmarried and either below the age of 21 or were under the age of 23 and were pursuing a full-time instruction course at any one of the approved educational institutes
  • An adult child of an eligible veteran who became physically or mentally incapable of self-support before the age of 21 or before the age of 23 in case pursuing a full-time instruction course at any one of the approved educational institutes. – It’s essential to submit supporting documents to claim.
  • United States Merchant Mariners who were in service during the period of armed conflict from December 1941 to December 1946. To claim this, it’s important to first obtain A DD-214 that validates service by giving an application to the United States Coast Guard.
  • United States merchant Mariners who served on block ships in support of Operation Mulberry during World War II
  • A person who was serving on a full-time duty on or after July 1945 as a commissioned officer of regular or reserve corps of public health service and was disabled or died from an injury or disease incurred in the line of duty.
  • A person who was performing a full-time duty before July 1945 as a commissioned officer of regular or reserve corps of public health service for the time of war or was on detail for duty with the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard or while the service was under the military forces due to the executive order of the President.


Special Cases and Exceptions

  • Multiple Discharges and Unique Service Conditions: If a veteran has multiple types of discharges, each is reviewed to determine eligibility for funeral benefits. This ensures that all qualified veterans can access their benefits, regardless of complex service records.
  • Eligibility for Spouses and Dependents: Spouses and dependent children of veterans might qualify for burial benefits too. These benefits include burial in a national cemetery alongside the veteran. Conditions such as the spouse not remarrying and the dependents’ age or educational status are considered.
  • Service Groups Like Merchant Mariners: Certain groups, like the United States Merchant Mariners who served during specific conflicts, are eligible for veterans’ funeral benefits. To claim these benefits, proper documentation like a DD-214 is required to verify service.


People Who Are Ineligible for VA Burial Benefits

  • Service member or veteran who dies during inactive training unless otherwise specified under any of the above-mentioned eligibility criteria.
  • The divorced spouse of a veteran.
  • Any person who was discharged from service for dishonorable charges.
  • People who are a federal prisoner or under the conviction of a capital crime and/or subversive crime.


Burial Ceremony

For “Honoring those who served” a Minimum of two although mostly 4 to 6 uniformed military persons with at least one of them belonging to the veteran’s parent service in the armed forces perform the military funeral honors ceremony that includes folding and presenting the United States burial flag and playing of taps.

rifle volley a tradition somewhat similar to a 21-gun salute might as well be performed to honor the veteran depending on the wishes of family and availability of resources. Military funeral honors are the responsibility of the Department of Defense.


Free urns for Veterans

Apart from the benefits provided by the Veteran Administration, there is a nonprofit organization known as “Free Urns for Veterans” for which your local county service officer can help you get in touch.

They help to get donations for free urns for veterans. To receive the urn family members, need to fill out the request form and submit a few documents. The eligibility is decided as per the documents. The urn is made of oak wood and has a military seal on it. It also has a nameplate with the Veteran’s name, military service, rank, and birth and death dates.

We understand that it is a great tragedy to see a person with such strong patriotism leave for their heavenly abode. Losing these brave hearts is indeed a tremendous loss for not just their family members but to the nation as well.

If at all you are preparing for the funeral of any close family member, relative, or friend, you have our heartfelt sympathy and you must know that we all are proud of them.

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