Find Out If You Qualify for Veterans Burial Benefits

Published: March 3, 2024
by Wesley Anderson

Did you or a family member serve in the U.S. military?

Those who have served honorably in the U.S. armed forces are eligible for burial benefits ranging from a small reimbursement for burial expenses in a private cemetery to free burial in a veterans cemetery.

There are a number of other benefits available as well. A deceased veteran’s family can obtain a grave marker, flag and memorial certificate. These items are all designed to honor the service and sacrifice of those who served in the military.

But how can you get these benefits?

As with all government-provided benefits, there are procedures that must be followed and paperwork that must be completed before any help with disposition can be finalized. Fortunately, there are clear instructions on what is needed. Those who are planning a funeral would be wise to look at the instructions in advance to make sure they have the required information when these benefits are ultimately needed.

Burial Benefits

One of the most commonly used benefits for those who have served is burial in a veterans' cemetery. Here is a list of national cemeteries by state.

Some veterans are eligible for burial or interment at Arlington National Cemetery, but criteria for burial there is in the process of being tightened.

Grave Markers

Eligible veterans can receive a government-issued headstone or grave marker for use at a private cemetery. Talk to your funeral director about this option.


A U.S. flag will be made available to any family of an eligible veteran that requests one. Your funeral director can assist you with procuring a flag, but families also can get one through the U.S. Postal Service. Instructions, information about necessary documents and the application form can be obtained here.

Burial Allowances

The U.S. government will pay a small amount toward burial expenses for eligible veterans. That amount may increase if a veteran died while in the care of a veterans hospital or if an active soldier died in a service-related incident. This page on the Veterans Benefits Administration website details the amounts and circumstances under which burial allowances will be paid.

These benefits are part of the “thank you” that a grateful nation gives to those who have served. Familiarize yourself with the benefits now and take whatever steps are needed to obtain paperwork before the service member dies. By doing so, you can ensure that the veterans in your family get all the benefits they deserve.

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