WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR BURIAL IN A VA NATIONAL CEMETERY?
Burial in a national cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces
in addition to veterans who;
Meet minimum active service duty
Widows or Widowers of Veterans
Unmarried adult children (under certain circumstances) if they pre-decease the veteran.
A copy of your DD-214 will be needed to file a claim for your benefits. A copy should be obtained (Mortuary clerk can apply at time of need) prior to the time of need. Copies may be obtain from:
The National Personnel Records Center
Military Personnel Records Office
9700 Page Blvd
St. Louis, Missouri 63132-5100
WHICH IS THE NEAREST NATIONAL CEMETERY WITH AVAILABLE SPACE FOR RESIDENTS OF LOS ANGELES, RIVERSIDE, SAN BERNARDINO RESIDENTS?
Currently Riverside National Cemetery
22495 Van Buren Boulevard, Riverside CA. 92518 (951-653-8417)
Unlike many national cemeteries, Riverside National Cemetery can place spouses together regardless of when death occurred.
GOVERNMENT HEADSTONE OR GRAVE MARKER
A grave marker (memorial tablet) is provided for the veteran's grave in a private, a public or a national cemetery at no cost to the family. We suggest that if burial will be in a private cemetery and a government headstone or marker will be requested for the veteran's grave, that the family complete in advance, (Mortuary clerk can apply at time of need). VA Form 40-1330, Appreciation for Standard Government headstone or Marker for Installation in a Private or State Veterans cemetery, and place it with the veteran's military discharge papers for use at the time of need.
U.S. BURIAL FLAG PROGRAM
Most veterans are eligible for a United States Burial Flag. Only one flag may be provided per veteran. flags may be obtained from the VA Regional Office and most U.S. Post Offices. These flags are usually issued to the mortuary or funeral home for use in the veteran's burial services. After the services the flag is presented to the family.
MILITARY FUNERAL HONORS CEREMONY
The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for providing military funeral honors. The DOD program, "Honoring Those Who Served", calls for funeral directors to request these honors on behalf of the veterans' families. The ceremony includes the folding and presentation of the US flag and the playing of "Taps". This is performed by Military Funeral Honors detail or by electronic recording. Veterans organizations may assist in the provision of military funeral honors.
Formal funeral services are not held at national cemeteries but a final committal service may be performed. For safety reasons these services are held in committal shelters located away from the graveside. Burial will take place following the committal service. Immediate family members may be allowed to view the actual burial only if arrangements have been made in advance with the cemetery director. National cemeteries do not usually conduct burial on weekends or on federal holidays.
PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE
Initiated in March 1962, a "Presidential Memorial Certificate" is an engraved paper certificated, signed by the current President to honor the memory of the honorably discharged deceased veteran. Eligible recipients of the certificated included the deceased veteran's next of kin and loved ones. Eligible recipient or someone acting on their behalf, may apply in person at any VA Regional office, or by U.S. Mail.
If the death of the veteran was service-related or if the death occurred while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing-home care, the VA will reimburse some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased.
Each claim toward a veteran's estate is going to require a certified copy of the death certificate. The mortuary will provide certified death certificates for a state required county fee of $12.00 per copy (2010). Veterans Service Representatives and County Veterans Affairs Officers can also provide additional certified copies at no charge.
WAS THE VETERAN EVER A UNION MEMBER?
If the veteran was ever a union member, call the local office of the union and report the death. Ask if there are any death benefits for past union members.
NOTIFICATION OF THE LAST EMPLOYER
Notify the veteran's last major employer of the death of the veteran.
A NON-SERVICE CONNECTED PENSION (NSC)
A NSC pension may be payable to widows or widowers and totally dependent-adult children or minor children of the deceased veteran under certain circumstances. Families should consult the nearest County VA Service Office or their local service organization office.
PRIVATE or PUBLIC CEMETERY PROPERTY (PLOT ALLOWANCE)
The VA can pay $150.00 toward a private cemetery plot if the family chooses to purchase in a private or public cemetery. The VA does not pay for or reimburse the full expense of a private gravesite. Usually the cemetery office will apply for this benefit on behalf of the family.
OTHER CEMETERY, MORTUARY & FUNERAL EXPENSES REIMBURSEMENT
Non-Service Related Death
The VA can pay up to $300.00 toward cemetery, mortuary and funeral expense when death occurs in a VA medical center, a VA contracted nursing home or if the deceased veteran was receiving or eligible to receive VA pension or compensation. Contact your local VA Office to verify eligibility.
Service Related Death
The VA will pay up to $2,000.00 toward cemetery expenses.
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS
The Social Security Administration benefit to a spouse, adult dependent or minor child is a single lump sum $255.00. Your local Social Security office will determine the actual amount when you file the claim.
DOCUMENTS TO BE TAKEN TO THE MORTUARY
- Copy of the Veteran's Military Discharge (DD-214)Download Form SF-180
- Copy of the Veteran's Marriage Certificate
FOR ASSISTANCE FILING VETERAN DEATH BENEFIT CLAIMS
Veterans Affairs Regional Offices: (800) 827-1000
Department of Veterans Affairs
National Cemetery Administration (41C2)
810 Vermont Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20420
You can apply for veterans burial benefits by providing the following documents:
- VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits
- DD-214 proving the veteran's military service & discharge category
- Death Certificate
- Copies of any bills from cemetery, funeral or mortuary expenses paid.
The Funeral Director or Memorial Counselor Expert at the mortuary you choose can also assist you with your veterans benefits.
9 A.M. - 5 P.M. Pacific Standard Time.
for appointment in the comfort of your home.
Additional Help for any Veteran,