Burial Benefits

National Cemeteries


Veterans, service members and dependents are eligible for burial in a VA National Cemetery. Burial benefits include the gravesite, headstone or marker, grave opening and closing, and perpetual care.

Eligibility


Eligible veterans must have been discharged or separated from active duty under conditions other than dishonorable and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. U. S. citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in a war may also be eligible. A 1997 law bars any veteran convicted of a federal or state capital crime from being buried or memorialized in one of the VA National Cemeteries. Headstones or markers are available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased service-members whose remains were not recovered or identified, buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify a grave, except the mandatory phrase "In Memory Of" which precedes the inscription. The memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a National Cemetery. In such a case, VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as the next of kin may apply for a headstone or marker.