For Burial in a National Cemetery

Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of the 135 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

The Veterans family should make funeral or cremation arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the family’s expense.

What Are Burial Allowances?

VA burial allowances are flat rate monetary benefits that are generally paid at the maximum amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs.

Who Is Eligible?

If the burial benefit has not been automatically paid to the surviving spouse, VA will pay the first living person to file a claim of those listed below:

  • Veteran’s surviving spouse; OR
  • The survivor of a legal union* between the deceased Veteran and the survivor; OR
  • The Veteran’s children, regardless of age; OR
  • The Veteran’s parents or surviving parent; OR
  • The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased Veteran.

The Veteran must also have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • the Veteran died as a result of a service-connected 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 instead to receive his or her full military retirement or disability pay, OR
  • the Veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility, OR
  • the Veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified placefor the purpose of examination, treatment or care, OR
  • the Veteran had an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death and would have been entitled to benefits from a date prior to the date of death, OR
  • the Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA–approved state nursing home.

How Much Does the VA Pay?

Service-Connected Death

  • The maximum service-connected burial allowance is $2,000.
  • If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA may reimburse some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased Veteran’s remains.

Non-Service-Connected Death

  • If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $762 for a plot.
  • If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016, but before October 1, 2017, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $749 for a plot.
  • If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015, but before October 1, 2016, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $747 for a plot.

Effective October 1, 2011, there are higher non-service-connected death rates payable if the Veteran was hospitalized by VA when he or she died.

  • If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017, VA will pay a $762 burial allowance and $762 for a plot.
  • If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016, VA will pay a $749 burial allowance and $749 for a plot.
  • If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015, but before October 1, 2016, VA will pay a $747 burial allowance and $747 for a plot.
  • If the death occurred while the Veteran was properly hospitalized by VA, or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the Veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.
  • Note: If the Veteran dies while traveling at VA expense for the purpose of examination, treatment or care, VA will pay burial, funeral, plot or interment allowances, and transportation expenses.

Burial Flags

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. VA will furnish a burial flag for memorialization for an other than dishonorably discharged:

1. Veteran who served during wartime
2. Veteran who died on active duty after May 27, 1941
3. Veteran who served after January 31, 1955
4. Peacetime Veteran who was discharged or released before June 27, 1950 after serving at least one enlistment, or for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty
5. Certain persons who served in the organized military forces of the Commonwealth of the Philippines while in service of the U.S. Armed Forces and who died on or after April 25, 1951
6. Certain former members of the Selected Reserves

How Can You Apply?

You may apply for the flag by completing VA Form 27-2008, Application for United States Flag for Burial Purposes. U.S. Post Offices are the primary issuing point for burial flags. Generally, the funeral director can help you obtain a flag. Call and confirm with the post office in advance. Not all local post offices have burial flags on hand but they should be able to direct you to the closest issuing post office. Regional VA Offices can also help identify local issuing points.

A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of deceased Veterans who are eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

An eligible recipient (i.e., next of kin, a relative or friend upon request, or an authorized service representative acting on behalf of such relative or friend) may apply for a PMC by completing a VA Form 40-0247, Presidential Memorial Certificate Request Form. More than one PMC may be requested. To expedite the processing of the claim, please submit the Veteran’s military discharge documents and death certificate. Do not send original documents, as they will not be returned.

If you have already requested a PMC more than sixteen (16) weeks ago and have not received it yet, please call 1-202-565-4964.

Colorado has 5 cemeteries to include national and state cemeteries

  1. Pikes Peak National Cemetery located in Colorado Springs,
  2. Fort Logan National Cemetery located in Denver,
  3. Fort Lyon National Cemetery located in Los Animas,
  4. State Veterans Memorial Cemetery, and
  5. Colorado State Veterans Center at Homelake (not currently funded)

List of cemeteries nationwide

General Information

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world, regardless of their date of death.

A Government-furnished headstone or marker may be provided for eligible Veterans who died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone. A Government-furnished medallion may be provided for eligible Veterans who served on or after Apr. 6, 1917 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.

When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state Veterans’ cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.

Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state Veteran’s cemetery, or military post/base cemetery.

Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself, however arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant’s responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.

Setting Government Headstones and Markers

Cemetery staff in national, military post, and military base cemeteries are responsible for setting the headstone or marker at no cost to the applicant. Some state Veterans’ cemeteries may charge the applicant a nominal fee for setting a Government-furnished headstone or marker.

Arrangements for setting a Government-furnished headstone or marker in a private cemetery are the applicant’s responsibility and all placement costs are at private expense.