MOPH Chapter 177

Burial Allowances Available to Veterans

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2013-08-07   Burial allowances available to veterans From the Racine County Veterans Service Office Journal Times

Veterans Affairs burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service-related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: a burial and funeral expense allowance, and a plot or interment allowance.
 
Who is eligible?
A person may be eligible for a Veterans Administration (VA) burial allowance if they paid for a veteran’s burial or funeral and they have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source such as the deceased veteran’s employer, and the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:
• The veteran died because of a service-related disability.
• The veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death.
• The veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay.
• The veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility.
• The veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment or care.
• The veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date of death.
• The veteran died on or after Oct. 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA–approved state nursing home.
 
How much does VA pay?
• Service-related death — VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after Sept. 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to Sept. 10, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some of all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
• Non-service-related death — For deaths on or after Oct. 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $700 toward burial and funeral expenses (if hospitalized by VA at time of death), or $300 toward burial and funeral expenses (if not hospitalized by VA at time of death), and a $700 plot-interment allowance (if not buried in a national cemetery).
 
For deaths on or after Dec. 1, 2001, but before Oct. 1, 2011, VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot-interment allowance. The plot-interment allowance is $150 for deaths prior to Dec. 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some of all of the costs for transporting the veteran’s remains may be reimbursed.
 
An annual increase in burial and plot allowances, for deaths occurring after Oct. 1, 2011, begins in fiscal year 2013 based on the Consumer Price Index for the preceding 12-month period.
 
How to apply:
A person can apply by filling out VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. They should attach a copy of the veteran’s military discharge document (DD 214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. They should show that you have paid them in full.
 
For more information about applying for burial allowances, go to:
www.benefits.va.gov/BENEFITS/factsheets/burials/Burial.pdf, or call Ali Nelson, Racine County veterans service officer, at (262) 638-6667, or visit Nelson at her office at 1717 Taylor Ave.

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