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A VA (Veteran's Administration) burial allowance is a partial reimbursement of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service-related, the reimbursement is generally described as two payments:
1. a burial and funeral expense allowance, and
2. a plot interment allowance.
Who Is Eligible ?
You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:
You paid for a veteran's burial or funeral AND you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer AND the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
The veteran died because of a service-related disability OR the veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death OR the veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay OR the veteran died in a VA hospital or while in a nursing home under VA contract.
For More Information Call Toll-Free at 1-800-827-1000
Headstones and Markers
The VA furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world.
Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze, and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. The style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Why does VA provide a Burial Flag?
A United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of a deceased veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. It is furnished to honor the memory of a veteran's military service to his or her country. Eligibility for Former Members of Selected Reserve were added by Section 571 of Public Law 105-261.
Who is eligible to receive the Burial Flag?
Generally, the flag is given to the next-of-kin, as a keepsake, after its use during the funeral service. When there is no next-of-kin, VA will furnish the flag to a friend making request for it. For those VA national Cemeteries with an Avenue of Flags, families of veterans buried in these national cemeteries may donate the burial flags of their loved ones to be flown on patriotic holidays.
How do I apply?
You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. You may get a flag at any VA regional office or U.S. Post Office. Generally, the funeral director will help you. When burial is in a national, state or post cemetery a burial flag will be provided.
Can a Burial Flag be replaced?
The law allows us to issue one flag for a veteran's funeral. We cannot replace it if it is lost, destroyed, or stolen. However, some veterans' organizations or other community groups may be able to help you get another flag.
How should the Burial Flag be displayed?
The proper way to display the flag depends upon whether the casket is open or closed. VA Form 21-2008 provides the correct method for displaying and folding the flag. The burial flag is not suitable for outside display because of its size and fabric. It is made of cotton and can easily be damaged by weather.
To contact the Veterans Administration view our Government Agency page.