VA to Simplify Burial Benefits Program

Effective on July 7, 2014, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is changing its monetary burial benefits regulations to simplify the program and pay eligible survivors quicker and more efficiently.

Under the current regulations, VA pays for burial and funeral expenses on a reimbursement basis, which requires survivors to submit receipts before receiving any payments. The new burial regulations will permit VA to pay most eligible surviving spouses, at a flat rate and without a written application, basic monetary burial benefits at the maximum amount authorized in law through automated systems rather than reimbursement for actual costs incurred

The burial allowance is $2,000.00 for service-connected death for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. These benefits would also include some or all of the transportation costs if the veteran is buried in a national cemetery.

The burial allowance for non-service connected death would be $700.00 towards burial and funeral if the veteran died in a VA hospital or is being transported to a VA facility OR $300.00 if the veteran died outside the VA system. These benefits would also include $700.00 for a burial plot if the veteran is buried in a private cemetery.

For claimants, other than surviving spouses of veterans in receipt of benefits, VA form 21-530 would still be required. A copy of the death certificate and receipts showing that the claimant paid in full or in part for funeral, burial, and/or plot would be required.

To read an explanation about the new monetary burial benefits regulations from the VA website, click here – 2014 Change to VA Burial Benefits

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