* This site is privately owned and is not affiliated or endorsed by the Social Security Administration or any other government agency.

Memorial Benefits


Memorial Benefits are a set of services and support provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs to honor and commemorate the lives of deceased veterans. These benefits may include burial services, funeral honors, headstones, markers, or medallions, and memorial flags for eligible veterans. The purpose of these benefits is to pay tribute to the veterans’ service and sacrifices and to support their families during their time of grief.

Key Takeaways

  1. Memorial Benefits are provided to honor and remember eligible deceased veterans and their service to the nation.
  2. These benefits can include burial in a National Cemetery, a government-furnished headstone, marker, or medallion, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate.
  3. Family members of the deceased veteran and some dependents may also be eligible for benefits such as burial allowances and survivor benefits.


Memorial Benefits are an important aspect of VA benefits because they are designed to honor, recognize, and assist the families of deceased service members and veterans.

These benefits provide an array of services, including dignified burial options in national or state veterans’ cemeteries, headstones or markers, and Presidential Memorial Certificates, ensuring that the service member or veteran’s legacy and sacrifice are preserved and commemorated.

Additionally, Memorial Benefits help alleviate some financial and logistical burdens that families of service members or veterans might experience during their time of mourning.

Ultimately, these benefits serve as an essential tribute to the selfless bravery and commitment of those who have served and protected their country.


Memorial Benefits serve a crucial purpose in honoring and commemorating the sacrifices and services of veterans who have passed. The primary objective of these benefits is to provide various tangible and intangible forms of recognition to the families of deceased veterans, ensuring that their memory is preserved and their contributions acknowledged.

By offering these benefits, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) aims to recognize, appreciate, and express gratitude to the brave individuals who have dedicated their lives to serving and protecting the nation. Through Memorial Benefits, the VA provides a range of services such as burial benefits, headstones and markers, and presidential memorial certificates.

Additionally, the VA assists families by offering burial plots in national cemeteries, thereby creating a dedicated space for commemorating the lives and contributions of the deceased veterans. The availability of these benefits to the families of veterans serves as a poignant reminder that the nation will always remain grateful for their loved one’s commitment and service.

Moreover, these benefits aim to ease the burden and stress of final arrangements for grieving families by providing essential support and resources during a challenging time.

Examples of Memorial Benefits

Burial in a National Cemetery: Under the VA’s Memorial Benefits, eligible veterans, service members, and their dependents can be buried at a National Cemetery, free of charge. This includes the provision of a gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, a headstone or marker, and ongoing maintenance of the gravesite.

Presidential Memorial Certificate: The VA provides Presidential Memorial Certificates (PMCs) to honor the memory of deceased veterans. These certificates are based on the veteran’s honorable military service and feature the President’s signature. Family members and loved ones can request PMCs as a way of officially recognizing and honoring the veteran’s service.

Headstones, Markers, or Medallions: The VA provides headstones or markers for the unmarked graves of eligible veterans, regardless of whether they are buried in a national, state, tribal, or private cemetery. Additionally, the VA also provides medallions to be affixed to a headstone or marker of an eligible veteran, signifying their military service. This benefit helps to ensure that the veteran’s grave is appropriately marked and honors their service to the country.

FAQ: Memorial Benefits

What are the different types of memorial benefits available?

Several memorial benefits are offered, such as burial flags, a Presidential Memorial Certificate, headstones and markers, and burial in national, state, or private cemeteries. Additionally, there are allowances for burial and funeral expenses.

How can a veteran’s family apply for Memorial Benefits?

A veteran’s family can apply for Memorial Benefits by completing the required forms and providing a copy of the veteran’s discharge documents (such as DD Form 214). Forms and supporting documents should be submitted to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office or the local cemetery office.

Who is eligible for burial in a national cemetery?

Eligible individuals include Veterans, Service members that died on active duty, Reserve or National Guard Members that served a period of active duty for operational support, and spouses/dependents of eligible Veterans and Service members. Additionally, specific commissioned officers of the Public Health Service and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration may be eligible.

What is the process for obtaining a headstone or marker for a veteran’s grave?

To obtain a headstone or marker for a veteran’s grave, complete the VA Form 40-1330 and submit it along with a copy of the veteran’s military discharge documents to the VA. The VA will review the application, and if the veteran is eligible, they will provide the headstone or marker at no cost.

What is a Presidential Memorial Certificate, and how can a family member obtain one?

A Presidential Memorial Certificate is a gold-embossed paper certificate that bears the President’s signature. It honors the memory of a deceased veteran for their service to the country. To obtain one, a family member can complete VA Form 40-0247 and submit it with a copy of the veteran’s military discharge documents to the Presidential Memorial Certificate Program.

Related VA Benefit Terms

  • Burial Allowance
  • Headstone and Marker
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate
  • National Cemetery Burial
  • Survivor and Dependent Benefits

Sources for More Information