VA will pay a burial  allowance up to $2,000 if the veteran's death is service connected. VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of the deceased that has available gravesites. In such case, the person who bore the veteran's burial expenses may claim reimbursement from the VA. VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veteran's who, at time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also is established when death occurs in  a VA facility or nursing home with which VA contracted. Additional cost of transportation of the remains may be reimbursed. In other deaths, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
VA will pay a $300 plot allowance when the veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. Government jurisdiction if the veteran is discharged from active duty because  a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, if the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been in receipt of compensation but for receipt of military retired pay, or if the veteran died while hospitalized by VA. The plot allowance is not payable solely on wartime service.

If the veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials, the $300  plot allowance may be paid to the state. Burial expenses paid by the deceased's employer or state agency will not be reimbursed.

Burial Flags

VA provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran and to a person entitled to retired military pay. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate. VA also will issue a flag on behalf of a service member who is missing in action and later presumed dead. Flags are issued at VA regional offices, national cemeteries, and post offices.

Burial in National Cemeteries VA cemeteries

Burial benefits in a VA national cemetery include the gravesite, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria for the inurnment of cremated remains. or special gravesites for the burial of cremated remains. Headstones and markers and their placements are provided at the governments expense.

Veterans and armed forces members who die on active duty are eligible for burial in one of VA's 114 national cemeteries. An eligible veteran must have been discharged or separated from active duty under honorable or general conditions and have completed the required period of service. Persons entitled to retired pay as a result of 20 years creditable service with a reserve component are eligible. A U.S. citizen who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the with the United States in the war also may be eligible. Spouses and minor children of an eligible veteran who married a non-veteran, and whose re-marriage was terminated by death or divorce, is eligible for burial in a national cemetery.
Gravesites in national cemeteries cannot be reserved. Funeral directors or others making burial arrangements must apply at the time of death. Reservations made under previous programs are honored. The National Cemetery System normally does not conduct burials on weekends. A weekend caller, however, will be directed to one of these strategically located VA cemetery offices that remain open during weekends to schedule burials at the cemetery of the caller's choice during the following week.

Headstones and Markers

VA provides headstones and markers for the unmarked graves of the veterans anywhere in the world and for and for eligible dependents of veterans buried in national, state veteran or military cemeteries.
Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, upright granite and upright marble types are available to mark the grave in a style consistent with the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Headstones and markers are inscribed with the name of the of the deceased, the years of birth and death, and branch of service. Optional items that also may be inscribed at VA expense are military grade, rank or rate; war service such as World War II; months and says of birth and death; and emblem reflecting one's beliefs; valor awards; and the Purple Heart. Additional items may be inscribed at private expense.
When burial is in a national, state veteran or military cemetery, the headstone or marker is ordered through the cemetery, which will place it on the grave. Information regarding style, inscription, shipping and placement can be obtained from the cemetery.
When burial occurs in a cemetery other than a national cemetery or a state  veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be app;ied for from VA. It is shipped at government expense to the consignee designated on the application. VA, however, does not pay the cost of placing the headstone or marker on the grave.
To apply, mail your application to the Quantico, Virginia, mailing address. You may use either the US Postal Service, or one of the mail delivery services commercially available . Our address is:  
Memorial Programs Services (41A1)
Department of Veterans Affairs
5109 Russell Road
Quantico, VA 22134-3903
For information regarding the status of an application, you may call the Director, office of Memorial Programs (403B3) at 1-800-697-6947.
VA cannot issue a headstone or marker for a spouse or a child buried in a private cemetery. Twenty years reservist without active duty service are eligible for a headstone or marker, if they are entitled to military retired pay at the time of death.

Headstones or Markers for Memorial Plots

To memorialize an eligible veteran whose remains are not available for burial, VA will provide a plot and headstone or marker in a national cemetery. The headstone or marker is the same as that used to identify a grave except that the mandatory phrase "In Memory of" precedes the authorized inscription. The headstone or marker is available to memorialize eligible veterans or deceased active-duty members whose remains were not recovered or identified, were buried at sea, donated to science, or cremated and scattered. The memorial marker may be provided for placement in a cemetery other than a national cemetery, In such a case, VA supplies the marker and pays the cost of the shipping, but does not pay for the plot or the placement of the marker. Only a relative recognized as a next of kin may apply for the benefit.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

The presidential Memorial Certificate is a parchment certificate with a calligraphic inscription expressing  the nation's recognition of the veteran's service. The veteran's name is inscribed and the certificate bears the signature of the President. Certificates are issued in the name of honorably discharged, deceased veterans. Eligible recipients include next of kin, other relatives and friends. The award of a certificate to one eligible recipient does not preclude certificates to other eligible recipients. The veteran may have died at any time in the past. The local VA regional office generally originated the application for t he Presidential Memorial Certification. The next of kin also may request a certificate. Request should be accompanied by a copy of a document such as discharge to establish honorable service. VA regional offices can assist in applying for the certificates.