MOPH Chapter 177

Schedule a Burial and Benefits

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Patriots
 
Once again I have witnessed the death of a veteran and the family has no idea as to burial benefits are how to aquire those benefits. Below is the information necessary for burial in a VA cementery and the benefits you have earned. Make sure your spouse and family have this knowledge. It is to late when you are dead.
 
Richard O'Brien

 

Schedule a Burial

To schedule a burial in all Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries except Puerto Rico, please contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office by following the instructions listed below:

 

It is important to fax all eligibility documentation to the Scheduling Office prior to calling. Burial in a national cemetery is based on military service. A copy of an official military discharge document bearing an official seal or other supporting documentation is usually sufficient to determine eligibility for burial. The document must show release from service was under conditions other than dishonorable. Discharge documentation is not usually needed for scheduling when a Veteran or eligible dependent is already interred in a national cemetery.

If you have no eligibility documentation ...

Scheduling Office agents will assist you with the verification process. Requests for eligibility determination when no military discharge documents are available may require 48 hours or more for verification. Scheduling Office personnel will contact you within 48 hours of the initial process with verification results or an explanation of the delay.

In order to assist you, please have the following information readily available:

  • Cemetery of choice
  • First or subsequent burial (Veteran or dependent already buried)
  • If subsequent interment, who is already interred, section and site number (if known)
  • Decedent’s full name, gender, SSN, date of death, date of birth and relationship (Veteran or dependent)
  • Contact Info (funeral director’s name as well as the name, address, and E-mail address of the funeral home)
  • Next of kin information (name, relationship to deceased, SSN, phone number, address)
  • Type of religious emblem for headstone (if known)
  • Did the decedent reside within 75 miles of requested cemetery?
  • ZIP code of decedent at time of death
  • County of decedent at time of death
  • Type of burial (casket or cremation)
  • Marital status of deceased (if Veteran is buried in a private cemetery, must provide documentation of marital status of spouse at time of death)
  • Casket size/liner size/urn size/urn vault size
  • Is surviving spouse a Veteran?
  • Any disabled children for future interment (must provide name and date of birth). If requesting immediate interment (must provide marital status, doctor’s statement stating type of illness, date of onset of illness and capability of self-support).
  • Military Honors requested

Scheduling Office Hours:

The National Cemetery Scheduling Office provides interment scheduling service 7 days a week, from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central Time. The Scheduling Office is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. As a service to all Veterans and their families, a national cemetery will never go more than two days without offering interment times and we will be able to advise you which days are open for interments when there is a three-day federal holiday.

When do I contact the National Cemetery directly?

There are instances when you should contact a national cemetery directly for scheduling support. They are:

  • To request burial in Puerto Rico
  • Active duty interment scheduling
  • Interment cancellation or rescheduling
  • Change to information initially provided to Scheduling Office
  • Request for disinterment and/or relocation to another national cemetery
  • Information pertaining to headstones, floral policy, hours of operation or other items unique to that cemetery.
  • .

Burial Benefits

Requests for burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery cannot be made via the Internet.

The VA does not make funeral arrangements or perform cremations. Families should make these arrangements with a funeral provider or cremation office. Any item or service obtained from a funeral home or cremation office will be at the families expense.

For Burial in a National Cemetery
Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our
131 national cemeteries with available space, 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. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances . Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.

Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the Veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the Veteran's headstone, at no cost to the family. Eligible spouses and dependents may be buried, even if they predecease the Veteran.

Preparing in Advance
Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance.

You should advise your family of your wishes and where your discharge papers* are kept. These papers are very important in establishing your eligibility. You may wish to make pre-need arrangements with a funeral home.

At the time of need your family would contact a funeral home who will assist them with making burial arrangements at the national cemetery.

To schedule a burial: Fax all discharge documentation to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 1-866-900-6417 and follow-up with a phone call to 1-800-535-1117.

Donating Burial Flags in National Cemeteries
Most of the Department of Veterans Affairs national cemeteries display an Avenue of Flags on patriotic holidays and during special events. The Avenues consist of burial flags donated by the families of deceased Veterans and provide a unique visible tribute to all of our Nation's Veterans.

A Certificate of Appreciation is presented to the donor for providing their loved ones' burial flag to a national cemetery.

Please contact the cemetery of your choice for information on how to donate a veteran's burial flag.

For Burial in a Private Cemetery
Burial benefits available for Veterans buried in a private cemetery include a
Government headstone or marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family. Some Veterans may also be eligible for Burial Allowances . There are not any benefits available to spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery.

Potential Questions to Ask Regarding Burial in a Private Cemetery

VA-NCA-IS-1 Interments in VA National Cemeteries — provides information on the National Cemetery Administration's history, arranging a burial in a national cemetery, military honors, burial eligibility and locations of national and state Veterans cemeteries.

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