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Burial Allowance


A burial allowance is a financial benefit provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help cover the funeral and burial expenses of eligible veterans. It aims to alleviate the financial burden on the families of deceased veterans and honor their service. The amount of the allowance depends on the veteran’s discharge status, whether their death was service-related, and other factors.

Key Takeaways

  1. Burial Allowance is a financial aid provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to cover the burial and funeral expenses of eligible deceased veterans.
  2. This benefit includes different amounts based on whether the veteran’s death was service-related, if they were receiving VA pension or compensation, or if they were hospitalized by the VA at the time of death.
  3. Eligible survivors, such as the veteran’s spouse or family member, can apply for the Burial Allowance within two years of the veteran’s burial or cremation using the VA Form 21P-530.


The VA benefits term “Burial Allowance” is important because it provides financial assistance to the family or designated beneficiaries of eligible veterans for their burial and funeral expenses.

This essential benefit aims to alleviate the financial burden on grieving families and honor the service and sacrifices made by the veterans.

By offering a partial reimbursement for expenses, the Burial Allowance helps ensure that veterans are laid to rest in a dignified and respectful manner, reflecting their invaluable contribution to their country.


The purpose of the VA Burial Allowance is to provide financial assistance to families or survivors of eligible United States veterans during the difficult time of planning and organizing a final farewell for their loved one. The loss of a loved one is a time of emotional turmoil and grief, and the added task of planning and making arrangements for the funeral can bring on additional stress.

This benefit lessens the financial burden on the family by covering some of the related funeral and burial expenses, allowing them to focus on honoring the memory of the deceased veteran. The Burial Allowance from the VA is typically used to help cover a wide range of funeral services and internment costs, including caskets or urns, plot or niche, headstones or markers, burial flags, and transportation.

It is designed to assist in ensuring a dignified and respectful funeral service for veterans who have served their country with honor. The specific amount covered by this benefit depends on the veteran’s eligibility, the circumstances of their death, and the type of burial they receive.

By offering this support, the VA Burial Allowance contributes to the overall goal of honoring and recognizing the sacrifices made by our nation’s veterans, while also providing comfort and support to their families during a time of great need.

Examples of Burial Allowance

The VA burial allowance is a benefit provided by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to help cover the financial costs associated with the burial and funeral of eligible veterans. Here are three real-world examples about the VA burial allowance:

A World War II veteran passes away, and their family is responsible for the funeral arrangements and burial expenses. The family can apply for a VA burial allowance, which could cover up to $2,000 for a service-connected death or up to $807 for a nonservice-connected death, as of October

This benefit applies to veterans who were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.

A veteran who served in the Gulf War succumbs to their injuries and disabilities connected to their service. Their family may apply for the VA burial allowance to not only cover burial costs but also to potentially receive a higher allowance due to the service-connected death of the veteran.

A retired Navy veteran passes away in a VA hospital or under VA-contracted nursing care. In this case, the veteran’s family can apply for a VA burial allowance to cover some or all of the funeral and burial expenses. For a nonservice-connected death in a VA facility, the allowance may be up to $807 (as of October 2021) to help the family with the costs incurred.These examples illustrate different situations in which a veteran’s family could apply for a VA burial allowance, providing a financial resource to help ensure that the veteran receives a respectful and dignified burial.

FAQ: VA Burial Allowance

What is a VA burial allowance?

A VA burial allowance is a partial reimbursement offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for veteran burial and funeral costs. The reimbursement amount is determined by several factors, including whether the death is service-related, the date of death, and financial contributions from other sources.

Who is eligible for a VA burial allowance?

Eligible recipients for VA burial allowance include: veterans who, at the time of death, were discharged honorably, served on active duty or had been receiving a VA pension or disability compensation; a spouse or minor child buried in a national cemetery, state veterans’ cemetery or military post/base cemetery, or the survivor of a deceased veteran eligible for a burial allowance.

How do I apply for a VA burial allowance?

To apply for the VA burial allowance, you’ll need to complete VA Form 21P-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You can download the form from the VA website, complete it, and submit it to your local VA office, along with documentation of the veteran’s military service (e.g., discharge/separation document) and a copy of the funeral or burial bill.

How much is the VA burial allowance?

The VA burial allowance amount varies based on eligibility and circumstances. For service-related deaths on or after Sep 11, 2001, the maximum benefit is $2,000. For deaths unrelated to service, the maximum benefit varies between $300 and $796, depending on factors like the veteran’s eligibility for other benefits at the time of death and whether they were hospitalized by the VA. Additional benefits may be available for burial plot or internment allowances.

How long does it take to receive the VA burial allowance?

In general, it may take 3 to 6 weeks for the VA to process a burial allowance claim. Once processed and approved, the VA will send payment to the person who paid for the burial and funeral costs, usually the surviving spouse or a family member. If documentation is incomplete or missing, this may cause delays in processing time.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Funeral and Burial Reimbursement
  • Veterans Cemetery Grants
  • Headstones and Markers
  • Presidential Memorial Certificates
  • Military Funeral Honors

Sources for More Information