Does The VA Pay For Cremation?

By: Brian K. Daly
Monday, March 27, 2023

When a veteran passes away, their family has to make final arrangements. One option that many choose is cremation. But what if the family can't afford the cremation costs? Does the VA (Department of Veterans Affairs) pay for cremation expenses? The answer is yes, but there are certain conditions that must be met. The Ocean County Cremation Service team has put together this information for you.

Does The VA Pay For Cremation?

  • The VA provides burial benefits to eligible veterans, and these benefits can be used to cover cremation expenses but not all veterans are eligible for VA burial benefits.
  • To be eligible, a veteran must have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and have completed the required length of service.
  • If a veteran is eligible for VA burial benefits, they may receive partial reimbursement for cremation expenses. The VA provides a flat rate of $300 towards burial/cremation and funeral expenses, which can be used to cover the cost of cremation.
  • However, it's important to note that this benefit is not available to veterans who died while receiving VA care or as a result of a service-connected disability.
  • In addition to the flat rate burial benefit, the VA also provides certain benefits for veterans who are cremated. For example, if a veteran is cremated and their remains are placed in a VA national cemetery, the VA will provide a free niche for the remains, a headstone or marker, and perpetual care of the grave site.
  • The family of the veteran will also receive a Presidential Memorial Certificate, which is signed by the current President of the United States.
  • Note that the VA burial benefits do not cover all expenses related to cremation. For example, if a veteran chooses to have a private cremation or memorial service, the family will be responsible for paying those costs. Additionally, the VA does not provide reimbursement for urns or other cremation-related expenses.

If a veteran is not eligible for VA burial benefits, their family may still be able to receive assistance from other sources. Many funeral homes offer special pricing for veterans, and there are also non-profit organizations that provide financial assistance for cremation and burial expenses.

Keep The Required Documentation Ready

VA typically requires certain documentation, such as a copy of the veteran's discharge papers, so it's important to gather this information before beginning the application process. With careful planning and preparation, you can ensure that your loved one receives the proper recognition and honor that they deserve.

For additional information, please call Ocean County Cremation Service at 609-971-3321. If you prefer to send your queries via email about how to organize a gathering/visitation/service you can use this Online Form to write to us. 

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