Veterans Administration Benefits pay a burial and plot allowance to eligible veterans. Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance, however, families are encouraged to prepare ahead by discussing cemetery options. Collect the veteran’s military information and call the cemetery where burial is desired prior to the time of need.
Your funeral director should make arrangements with the national cemetery. The VA will provide a gravesite, graveliner and headstone or marker, Presidential Memorial Certificate, US flag, perpetual gravesite care, and open and close the grave at no cost to the veteran’s family. Services provided by funeral directors and other related costs, such as transportation, must be paid by the veteran’s family.
To establish eligibility for burial in a VA national cemetery you will need the veteran’s full name, rank, branch of service, dates of entry and discharge, serial, social security and VA claim numbers, birth date and place and date of death. A copy of the veteran’s official discharge with the character of discharge is required. If this document is not available, a copy may be obtained from the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Record’s Office, 9700 Page Blvd, St. Louis MO 63132-5100. Obtain this prior to the time of need.