Military & Fraternal Services
Military honors or fraternal society rites may be arranged for eligible members. If you wish to request a military honor guard or fraternal rites, please speak to a funeral director as soon as possible to assist us in scheduling.
When a veteran dies, the surviving spouse may receive a Veteran’s Administration allowance as partial reimbursement for an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral or cremation costs. The VA will be helpful for veteran’s families, however, they do not pay directly for funeral or cremation services. Reimbursements are partial payments based on specific eligibility requirements. To learn more, visit www.cem.va.gov.
If the death was service-related on or after September 11, 2001, the VA will pay up to $2,000. If the service-related death was on or prior to September 10, 2001, the VA will pay up to $1,500. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, a portion or all of the cost of moving the deceased may be reimbursed.
Non service-Related Death
For non service-related death, the Veterans Administration may provide a limited amount of compensation for burial and funeral expenses and/or transfer of the body, depending on eligibility. Please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office at 1-800-749-8387 or visit their website at www.cem.va.gov to find out if you are eligible for any benefits.
If a veteran received a discharge other than dishonorable, he or she may be eligible for burial in a national or state cemetery at no cost to the family. Burial spaces must be arranged at need. Spouses and dependents are also eligible for burial in national and state cemeteries, even if they predecease before the veteran.
Headstones and Markers
All veterans with an honorable discharge will receive a flag and military honors. A deceased veteran, discharged under any condition except dishonorable, is entitled to a standard Government-furnished headstone or marker. Upon request, at no cost to the surviving family member, the VA will provide the headstone or marker for the gravesite. Flat markers are available in granite, marble, and bronze. Upright headstones are available in granite and marble. The style must be consistent with existing monuments or markers at the burial site.
United States Flag
The VA will provide a United States flag, at no cost, to drape over the casket or urn of a deceased veteran. Only one flag is provided per veteran. Generally the flag is given to the next of kin; however, the VA will furnish the flag to a friend upon request.
A veteran is entitled to receive military honors at the burial service from the veteran’s military branch.
VA Benefits for Surviving Spouse
One of the most difficult tasks for a survivor after the death of the veteran is the completion of numerous claim forms for VA survivor benefits. To help facilitate the claims process, below is a list of documents you will need to bring with you to the VA office.
Proof of veteran’s military service (Form DD214)
Service serial number or Social Security number
Veteran’s birth certificate (to determine parent’s benefits)
Veteran’s death certificate
Marriage license (if applicable) or divorce decree
Children’s birth certificates (if applicable)
Government life insurance policy
For further information regarding veterans’ benefits such as who is eligible and what forms need to be completed, please call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or visit their website at www.cem.va.gov.