Burial Benefits


Picture of Arlington Cemetery.

VA operates 120 national cemeteries.

Links You Can Use

National Cemetery Administration

Eligibility at Arlington National Cemetery


Burial Benefits

VA burial benefits include a gravesite at any open national cemetery, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate at no cost to the family.

VA will provide a partial reimbursement of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs, known as a burial allowance, when the death is service-connected.  When the cause of death is not service-connected, the reimbursement is known as a burial and funeral expense allowance and a plot interment allowance.

Public Law 108-454 designated a memorial currently under construction at the Riverside National Cemetery in Riverside, California, as “Prisoner of War/Missing in Action National Memorial.”

Public Law 108-183 makes all remarried surviving spouses of veterans who died on or after January 1, 2000, eligible for burial in a national cemetery.

Public Law 107-103 increased the amount of the reimbursement for service and nonservice-related deaths.  Effective September 11, 2001, VA will pay $2,000 toward burial expenses for service-related deaths.  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 up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and $300 for plot interment.

Public Law 107-103 also gave the Secretary of Veterans Affairs the authority, for five years, to furnish a marker to those families who request a government marker for the marked grave of a veteran interred in a private cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery

Eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery, which is under the jurisdiction of the Department of Army, is more limited than eligibility requirements for a VA national cemetery.  Servicemembers who are eligible for burial at Arlington are those who died on active duty; those with at least 20 years active duty or active reserve service which qualifies them for retired pay either upon retirement or at age 60, and those retired for disability; veterans honorably discharged at 30 percent or more disability before October 1, 1949; holders of the Nation's highest military decorations (Medal of Honor, Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force Cross or Navy Cross, Distinguished Service Medal, and Silver Star or the Purple Heart); and the spouse or unmarried minor child of any of the above.


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