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Burial Benefits and Headstones


What Are VA Burial Allowances?

The Veteran, Spouse, minor and disabled children can be buried in a VA National Cemetery. Family members must have the DD214 to give to the Funeral Home Director.  The Director will contact the National Cemetery.  To request a DD214, request a SF180 from your Fresno County Veteran Service Office or order one from the following website:  e Vet Recs

What Are VA Burial Allowances?

VA burial allowances are flat-rate monetary benefits. They help cover eligible Veterans’ burial and funeral costs. Generally, they are paid at the maximum amount allowed by law.

A 2014 VA regulation change helped simplify the program. Eligible surviving spouses are now paid automatically. This happens upon notification of the Veteran’s death. There is no need to submit a claim.

However, VA may grant additional benefits after receiving a claim. These include plot or interment allowance and transportation allowance.

Who Is Eligible?

If the surviving spouse has not been automatically paid, VA will pay whomever files a claim first of the following:

• The Veteran’s surviving spouse

• The Veteran’s children, regardless of age .................

• The Veteran’s parents

• The executor or administrator of the estate

• The survivor of a legal union with the Veteran. This applies to formal relationships that continued up until the Veteran’s death. The couple needs to have formalized the relationship under the law of the state. There should be state-issued documentation of the relationship.

The Veteran must have a discharge other than dishonorable. The Veteran must also have met one of the following conditions:

• Death as the result of a service-connected disability

• Receiving VA pension or compensation at time of death

• Entitled to receive VA pension or compensation at time of death, but instead received full military retirement or disability pay

• Died while hospitalized by VA or while receiving care under VA contract

• Died while traveling under the following circumstances: o Under proper authorization and at VA expense

o To or from a place for the purpose of examination, treatment or care

• Had an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death o Only if the Veteran would have been entitled to benefits from a date prior to the death date

• Died on or after Oct. 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home




Only for Veterans who died on or after November 1, 1990 - Furnished for the grave of any eligible deceased Veteran and provided for placement in private and local government cemeteries regardless of whether or not the grave is marked with a privately-purchased headstone or marker.

Only for Veterans who died before November 1, 1990 - Furnished for the UNMARKED GRAVE of any eligible deceased Veteran. The applicant must certify that a privately-purchased headstone or marker or Government-furnished headstone or marker is not present on the grave.

b. MEMORIAL HEADSTONE OR MARKER - Furnished to commemorate an eligible deceased Veteran whose remains have not been recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and the remains scattered. VA will only furnish a memorial headstone or marker after the disposition of the Veteran's remains. A memorial headstone or marker must be placed in an established cemetery, and will not be used as a memento. For a memorial headstone or marker please check box in block 34 and explain the disposition of the remains in block 33.

c. MEDALLION - Eligible deceased Veterans may receive a Government-furnished headstone or marker, or a medallion, but not both. If requesting a medallion, please use VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion for Placement in a Private Cemetery.

d. PRESIDENTIAL MEMORIAL CERTIFICATE - A Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC) is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current president, to honor the memory of Veterans discharged under other than dishonorable conditions.


What to bring to your Madera County VSO Representative:

  1. Death Certificate
  2. DD214 and/or Discharge Documentation
  3. Plot Statement
  4. Itemized receipts from funeral home that show paid-in-full