posted by Daniel Littlepage


Effective July 7, 2014, the VA changed its monetary burial benefits regulations, allowing eligible survivors (primarily surviving spouses) to be awarded the maximum flat amount for burial benefits without formal application and without consideration to reimbursement.


The burial benefits amount would be $2,000 for service connected deaths on or after September 11, 2001 or up to $1,500 for deaths prior to that date. These benefits would also include some or all of the transportation costs if the veteran is buried in a national cemetery.


The burial benefits amount for non-service connected deaths would be $700 towards burial and funeral if the vet died in a VA hospital or being transported to a VA facility, OR $300 may be awarded if the vet died outside the VA hospital system. These benefits would also include $700.00 for a plot if the vet is buried in a private cemetery. For deaths prior to October 1, 2011, the amounts may differ.


A copy of the death certificate and receipts showing that the claimant paid in full or in part for funeral, burial, and/or plot will be required.


For claimants other than surviving spouses of veterans in receipt of benefits, form 21-530 will still be required. However, for surviving spouses of veterans already receiving monetary benefits or for vets with service-connected deaths, no application should be required.