SERVING OUR VETERANS: Burial benefits for veterans
Several weeks ago in my column, I reviewed information on veterans’ burial locations in North Dakota. Today, I would like to expound on this to include additional burial benefits for veterans.
A veteran who passes away from a service connected disability, on or after September 11, 2001, is entitled to a burial allowance for the total cost of the funeral, burial, and transportation, of $2000.00, whichever is less. An additional separate amount is payable for the veteran, if the veteran is buried in a National Cemetery. There is no time limit for the burial or transportation allowances due to a service connected death.
A veteran who passes away from a non-service connected disability may be entitled to a burial allowance of $300.00. $762.00 is allowed if the veteran died in a VA medical center, or a VA nursing home or a VA contracted nursing home, with an additional $300.00 plot or interment allowance. An additional separate amount is available for transportation to a National Cemetery or from the place of death to the place of burial if the veteran dies at a DVA Medical Center, hospitalized at a non-DVAMC under Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) authorization, or while traveling under DVA authorization. If in an approved nursing home, and no other entitlement, $300.00 is then payable. The deadline for submitting the claim is two years after the date of final permanent burial or interment.
The DVA furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a headstone or marker to mark the gravesite of an eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world. There is no time limit for ordering the marker. Headstones are provided for eligible spouses and dependents of veterans when buried in a national, military, or state veteran’s cemetery. Any deceased veteran discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable is eligible to receive the grave marker. Military service after September 7, 1980 required a minimum of 24 months of service, except for special circumstances. Individuals with 20 or more years of service in the National Guard or Reserve, entitled to retirement pay subsequent to October 27, 1992 are entitled to a grave marker.
The DVA furnishes the U.S. flag to drape the casket of a veteran, and certain members of the National Guard, and the Selected Reserve.
Please contact me should you have any questions concerning burial benefits.