VA Expands Burial Benefits for Veterans

VA in October raised the burial and plot allowances for veterans who died in nonservice-related incidents

The VA last year announced new burial allowance rates for veterans who have died in nonservice-related incidents since October.

VA announced several updates to burial benefits aimed at providing support to veterans and their families. These updates, according to VA, reflect the department’s commitment to honoring U.S. veterans around the world.

In the past, VA covered costs for transporting remains to eligible national cemeteries. Now, this benefit has been extended to include transportation expenses to state and tribal veteran cemeteries.

“[For service-related deaths], VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after Sept. 11, 2001, or up to $1,500 for deaths prior to Sept. 11, 2001,” according to VA. “If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.”

For nonservice-related deaths, VA will pay a $948 burial allowance and $948 for a plot if the veteran died on or after Oct. 1, 2023. If the veteran died between Jan. 5, 2023, and Oct. 1, 2023, VA would pay an $893 burial allowance and $893 for a plot. Learn more about allowance rates at

VA Under Secretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs noted in a VA press release that in fiscal year 2022, VA delivered more than 84,000 burial benefits to families.

“Expanding burial benefits means we are able to ensure veterans are honored in their final resting place and assist their family, caregivers and survivors during the difficult time of their loved one’s passing,” Jacobs said.

VA’s national cemeteries provide benefits for traditional casket or cremation burials. For eligible veterans and family members, VA national cemetery burial benefits include:

  • Opening and closing of the gravesite
  • Inscribed headstones or markers
  • Burial flag
  • Award of the Presidential Memorial Certificate
  • Perpetual care of the gravesite

For those being placed in private cemeteries, benefits only include:

  • Headstones, markers or medallions for the gravesite
  • Burial flag
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate

VA also may provide burial allowances to assist with a family member’s burial and funeral costs for those eligible.

VA encourages veterans to consider their “end-of-life benefits” provided by the department. To learn more, visit More information about VA burial benefits can be found at

This article is featured in the 2024 May issue of VFW magazine, and was written by Dave Spiva, associate editor for VFW magazine.