A military burial is one of the last moments the United States can honor one of its service members or veterans. But there’s often a lot of confusion surrounding just what will the military pay for, as far as a veteran’s funeral and burial.
At The Gardens of Boca Raton Cemetery & Funeral Services, we’ve handled many military funerals, and we can help you better understand how they work and how the government works to reimburse you.
Who’s Eligible For a Military Funeral?
Veterans Affairs (VA) will pay for a funeral for a veteran from any of the branches of United States military service that has been discharged under conditions that were anything but dishonorable.
In addition to being discharged in an honorable way, at least one of the following conditions have to be met:
- The veteran died as a result of a disability connected with his service.
- The veteran was already receiving a VA pension or compensation.
- The veteran died while receiving care under a VA contract or a VA hospital.
- The veteran died while traveling to receive service.
- The veteran died while being a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home, on or after Oct. 9, 1996.
These are a few of the conditions, with the rest available on the military.com website.
The person to receive the benefit must be either the veteran’s surviving spouse, a survivor of a legal union, the children of the veteran, the parents of the veteran or the executor or administrator of the veteran’s estate.
What Will the Military Pay For?
The monetary allowances offered by Veterans Affairs are to help defray the costs of burials and funerals for eligible veteran’s families. The amount that the VA will pay depends on whether it’s a service-connected death or not, of if the veteran was already hospitalized by the VA at the time of their death.
The maximum burial allowance paid by the VA is $2,000 for a service-connected burial.
The VA will pay just a $300 burial allowance (and $747 for a plot) for a non-service-related death.
If the veteran was in fact hospitalized already at a VA hospital at the time of their death, then the VA will pay a $747 burial allowance and $747 for a plot.
The reimbursements will be paid as two payments, with one being a burial and funeral expense allowance (including cremation), and the other being a plot interment allowance.
How Do You Apply For A Veteran Funeral?
One can apply by filling out VA Form 21P-530, Application for Burial Benefits. Fill out the form and attach a copy of the veteran’s discharge papers (DD 214) and a death certificate. You can also call the VA toll-free number within the United States at (800) 827-1000 for more answers. The Gardens of Boca Raton Cemetery & Funeral Care Services can also help you answer your questions about what will the military pay for, if you live in the South Florida area.