VA Death Benefits

Dignity Memorial® professionals proudly serve veterans. We are honored to work with families of veterans to give proper burials to those who have chosen to bravely serve our country. We are experts in U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs burial benefits and can help you plan a veterans funeral with military funeral honors.

If you are a veteran or a spouse, parent or loved one planning a funeral service for a recently deceased or a living veteran, it’s important to be aware of the VA burial benefits that may be available to you. It is also important to know that these veteran benefits do not come automatically and must be requested in advance, typically through applications and VA forms stating history of military service and intent for burial. Our professionals can guide you through the process of filling out these forms. Through years of planning funerals for thousands of veterans, we are experts in making sure veterans in our care receive the military funeral honors they have earned.

Are all veterans’ funeral expenses covered by the VA?

A common misconception is that funeral or cremation arrangements for all veterans will be funded by the VA, but this is only true in some cases, such as when a veteran has been killed in the line of duty.

However, the law requires that every eligible veteran receive a military honors ceremony, including the folding and presentation of the U.S. flag performed by two or more uniformed military persons and the playing of Taps by a live bugler or recording. The flag is provided at no cost by the Department of Defense and is generally presented to the next of kin or a designated friend or family member after the ceremony is completed. The funeral director must request these honors on behalf of the family in advance of the funeral. These ceremonial rights are provided for active duty, military retirees, members and former members of the Selected Reserve, eligible U.S. veterans of any war and other veterans who served at least one term and separated under conditions other than dishonorable.

Your Dignity Memorial provider will assist you in understanding and applying for your VA burial benefits and will take pride in providing your family with a respectful, dignified service that will honor the life of your loved one.

Requesting VA benefits

Prior to contacting a Dignity Memorial provider, you may download or request a hard copy of our free guide, 10 Important Facts About Your VA Burial Benefits, to help you understand and receive all the burial benefits you or your loved one deserve.

This guide contains:

  • Information about military funeral honors
  • Information on the importance of advance planning

VA national cemetery funding

Visit the National Cemetery Administration’s burial benefits page to determine your eligibility requirements for national and private cemetery burial funding.

In general, any member of the Armed Forces of the United States who dies while on active duty or any veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable is entitled to burial in a VA national cemetery or state veterans cemetery. Under certain conditions, the unremarried surviving spouse and dependent children of an eligible veteran are also entitled to this benefit.

If eligible, burial in a VA national cemetery includes:

  • An assigned grave site (if space is available)
  • Opening and closing of the grave
  • A grave liner for casketed remains
  • A government headstone or marker
  • Perpetual care at no cost to the family

Cremated remains are buried or inurned in VA national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Spaces in a VA national cemetery may not be reserved in advance. Arrangements are only allowed at the time of death. Also note that unlike burials in private cemeteries, VA national cemetery burials typically do not take place on weekends.

Your local Dignity Memorial provider will assist you in selecting either a VA national cemetery, a state veterans cemetery or a preferred private cemetery location anywhere in the United States.

The Dignity Memorial Member Benefits Program

We encourage all veterans to take advantage of the unique benefits and extraordinary savings offered by the Member Benefits Program from Dignity Memorial funeral, cremation and cemetery providers. Our caring professionals can assist you in determining eligibility for burial benefits, as well as guide you through every step of the veterans funeral planning process, including cost savings and compassionate care before, during and after the funeral.

Dignity Memorial providers offer exclusive benefits through our partnerships with certain state departments of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars nationally. Members of these organizations may be eligible to receive the following Dignity Memorial veterans benefits:

  • 10% savings* on all Dignity Memorial funeral or cremation services and merchandise
  • A flag case for your government-issued United States flag, or an optional memento box
  • The Dignity Memorial Aftercare® Planner kit that provides your loved ones with a complete system for all the paperwork involved in organizing and closing your estate
  • Access to the 24-Hour Compassion Helpline® that provides trained grief counselors to assist your immediate family members with telephone counseling services for 13 months after the funeral service is performed
  • The Dignity Memorial 100% Service Guarantee that ensures your family's complete satisfaction with the services provided

Contact your local Dignity Memorial provider to discuss how we can create a unique and meaningful service to honor your loved one. Know that our network of professionals will faithfully uphold our commitment to providing consistent support and guidance every step of the way.

 *Discount and free exclusive benefits apply only to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and specific American Legion state departments and their spouses. Restrictions apply. Not available in Tennessee or where prohibited by law. Discount does not apply to cash advance items. Offers may not be combined with any other discounts or savings programs. Offer subject to change without notice. Not valid at National Cremation Society or Advantage Funeral or Cremation Services locations.

Benefits are available to VFW members nationwide and American Legion members in Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Kentucky, Missouri, Michigan, Oklahoma, Texas and Washington at the time of need or when making funeral services in advance.