If your family member is a veteran, the US Department of Veterans Affairs provides small burial or cremation allowances. Burial at no charge may be possible in an area where a national Veterans Cemetery is located. Members of the Reserve or National Guard may also be eligible.
VA Regional Offices can assist in determining eligibility for burial in VA national cemeteries. The toll-free number for the nearest VA Regional Office is 1-800-827-1000.
Upon the family's request, every eligible veteran may request a military funeral honors ceremony, to include folding and presenting the United States burial flag and the playing of Taps. The military funeral honor detail will consist of two or more uniformed military, with at least one being a member of the veteran's parent service of the armed forces.
A Presidential Memorial Certificate, an engraved paper certificate signed by the current President to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans, may be requested.
Headstones and Markers
How to Arrange for Burial
Military Funeral Honors
More on Vital Records
National Cemetery Administration
Nationwide Regional Offices
Nationwide Regional Offices (VBA)
Online Video Overview of the Services
Pre-Planning for Burial
Presidential Memorial Certificate
Veterans Service Records
Webpages of National Cemeteries
Remember that states may offer benefits in addition to the federal benefits. To find your state's local office, visit our "States" section of the Full Circle of Care website, find your state, and scroll down to find a link to your state Veteran's Affairs office (if available online).
If your family member was in the military, certain benefits may be available to you, including continued health care benefits through TRICARE. Please note that TRICARE is a program for active and retired military. For a definition of military versus veteran, click here. Contact the appropriate division of armed services for a complete listing of benefits and assistance.
For more information on benefits available to surviving spouses and children (scroll):