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  Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery  
     
  1) To confirm your eligibility for burial benefits, please call a Veteranís Benefits Counselor at: 1-800-827-1000  
  No special forms are required when requesting burial in a VA national cemetery. The person making burial arrangements should have their funeral home contact the national cemetery in which burial is desired at the time of need. Scheduling can be done seven days a week for interments on Mondays through Fridays.  
  Note: The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides veterans a toll-free number (1-800-697-6947) to talk to a VA benefits counselor about VA benefits.  The nationwide telephone number can be used from callers from any location in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.  The call will automatically be routed to the nearest VA regional office according to the area code and the first three digits of the caller's telephone number.  Trained VA benefits counselors will answer all calls during normal working hours.  
  If possible, the following information concerning the deceased should be provided when the VA cemetery is first contacted:  
     
  Full name and military rank;  
  Branch of service;  
  Social security number;  
  Service number;  
  VA claim number, if applicable;  
  Date and place of birth;  
  Date and place of death;  
  Date of retirement or last separation from active duty; and a copy of any military separation documents, such as the Department of Defense Form 214 (DD-214).  
     
  The discharge documents must specify active military duty and show that release from active duty was under other than dishonorable conditions.  
     
  Viewing facilities are not available and funeral services cannot be held at VA national cemeteries, but a final committal service may be performed. For safety reasons, these committal services are held in committal shelters located away from the gravesite. Burial will take place following the committal service.  
     
  Floral arrangements may accompany the casket or urn from the committal shelter and will be placed on the grave after burial.  
     
  A headstone or marker will be ordered by cemetery personnel upon inscription approval by the next of kin and a burial flag will be provided.  
     
  Upright headstones are standard in most national cemeteries, however, some have both upright headstone and flat marker sections. Be sure to discuss these options with the cemetery director prior to burial.  
     
  The same procedures are followed if the veteran's eligible spouse or dependent predeceases the veteran. In most cases, one gravesite is provided for the burial of all eligible family members and a single headstone or marker is provided. When both spouses are veterans, two gravesites and two headstones or markers may be provided if requested.  
     
  The Department of Defense (DOD) is responsible for providing Military Funeral Honors.  The DOD program, "Honoring Those Who Served," calls for funeral directors to request military funeral honors on behalf of the veterans' families. Veterans' organizations may assist in the provision of military funeral honors. In support of this program, VA national cemetery staff may assist to coordinate military funeral honors.  
     
  2) Requests for burial in a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery cannot be made via the Internet.  
     
  3) Persons Eligible for Burial in a VA National Cemetery.††  
  a) The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemetery directors have the primary responsibility for verifying eligibility for burial in VA national cemeteries. A determination of eligibility is usually made in response to a request for burial in a VA national cemeteries. A determination of eligibility is usually made in response to a request for burial in a VA national cemetery.  
  b) Spouses and Dependents  
  (1) The spouse or unremarried surviving spouse of an eligible person, even if that person is not buried or memorialized in a national cemetery, is eligible for interment in a national cemetery. In addition, the spouse of a member of the Armed Forces of the United States lost or buried at sea, or officially determined to be permanently absent in a status of missing or missing in action or whose remains have been donated to science or cremated and the ashes scattered is also eligible for burial.  
  (2) The surviving spouse of an eligible decedent who remarries an ineligible individual and whose remarriage is void, terminated by the ineligible individual's death, or dissolved by annulment or divorce is eligible for burial in a national cemetery. The surviving spouse of an eligible decedent who remarries an eligible person retains his or her eligibility for burial in a national cemetery.  
  (3) The minor children of an eligible person. For purpose of burial in a national cemetery, a minor child is a person who is unmarried and:  
  †† (a) Who is under the age of 21 years; or,  
  †† (b) Who is under 23 years of age and pursuing a course of instruction at an approved educational institution.  
  (4) An unmarried adult child of an eligible person if the child is physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21 years. Proper supportive documentation must be provided.  
  (5) Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of our 119 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave, perpetual care, a Government headstone or marker, a grave liner for casketed remains, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, at no cost to the family.
 
  Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.  
     
  Eligibility for a Headstone or Marker  
  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased veteran discharged from the US Armed Forces under conditions other than dishonorable.  
     
  Service after September 7, 1980, must be for a minimum of 24 months or be completed under special circumstances, e.g., death on active duty. Persons with 20-years service in the National Guard or Reserves who are entitled to retired pay subsequent to October 27, 1992, are also eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker. A copy of the Reserve Retirement Eligibility Benefits Letter must accompany the application. Active duty service while in the National Guard or Reserves also establishes eligibility.  
     
  Service prior to World War I requires detailed documentation to prove eligibility such as, muster rolls, extracts from State files, military or State organization where served, pension or land warrants, etc.  
     
  Headstones and markers are provided for eligible spouses and dependents of veterans only when buried in a national, military post/base, or State veterans cemetery. Spouses and dependents buried in a private cemetery are not eligible for a Government-furnished headstone or marker.  
     
  Ordering a Headstone or Marker  
  When burial or memorialization is in a national, post, or State veteransí cemetery a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin.  
     
  When burial is in a private cemetery, VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for Installation in a Private or State Veteransí Cemetery, must be submitted by the next of kin, funeral director or cemetery representative, al  
     
  VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for Installation in a Private or State Veteransí Cemetery and additional application information may be obtained at any VA national cemetery or regional office by calling 1-800-827-1  
     
  All completed applications should be mailed to:  
     
  Memorial Programs Service (403)  
  Department of Veterans Affairs  
  810 Vermont Avenue, NW  
  Washington, DC 20420-0001  
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  Preparing in Advance for Burial Benefits, for Burial in a VA National Cemetery  
  Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance; however, reservations made prior to 1962 will be honored. Families are encouraged to prepare in advance by discussing cemetery options, collecting the vet  
     
  1) BURIAL IN ARLINGTON NATIONAL CEMETERY  
  The following information is provided concerning eligibility for burial in Arlington National Cemetery:Interment in Arlington National Cemetery is limited to:  
  Persons who died on active duty.  
  Retired members of the Army Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, or Coast Guard who have performed active military duty, are carried on official service retired lists and who are eligible to receive compensation stemming from service in the armed forces.  
  Persons otherwise eligible by reason of honorable military service and who have also held elective office in the U.S. Government or served on the Supreme Court or in the Cabinet or in an office compensated at Level II under the Executive Salary Act.  
  Former members of the Armed Forces separated for physical disability of 30% or more prior to October 1, 1949, and who served on active duty (other than for training) and who would have been eligible for retirement under provisions 10 U.S.C. 1201 had that statute been in effect at the time of separation.
Former members of the Armed Forces whose last active duty (other than for training) was terminated honorably and who have been awarded one of the following decorations:
 
  Former members of the Armed Forces whose last active duty (other than for training) was terminated honorably and who have been awarded one of the following decorations:  
  Medal of Honor  
  Distinguished Service Cross, Air Force or Navy Cross  
  DistinguishedService Medal  
  Silver Star, or Purple Heart  
  Spouses, minor children and dependent adult children of the persons listed above and of persons already buried in Arlington National Cemetery.  
  Burial in Arlington National Cemetery can be arranged through any funeral director provided the deceased is eligible for interment.Remains should not be shipped to Arlington National Cemetery until approved by cemetery personnel.The address and telephone number of Arlington National Cemetery is:  
     
  2) Burial in a Private Cemetery  
  The VA suggests that if burial will be in a private cemetery and a Government headstone or marker will be requested for the veteranís grave, that the family complete VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for Installationin a Private or State Veteransí Cemetery, in advance and place it with the veterans military discharge papers for use at the time of need.  
     
  Burial Flag  
  The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) provides approximately 484,000 American burial flags annually. Only one burial flag may be provided per veteran or service member.  
     
  Members of the Armed Forces, most veterans and many Reservists are eligible for a burial flag. Eligibility may be confirmed by calling the nearest VA Regional Office at 1-800-827-1000.  
     
  The VA ill issue a flag on behalf of a service member who was reported as missing in action and presumed dead.  
     
  When burial is in a national, state or post cemetery a burial flag will be provided.  
     
  When burial is in a private cemetery, burial flags may be obtained from VA regional offices, national cemeteries and most U.S. post offices by completing VA Form 21-2008, Application for United States Flag or Burial Purposes, and submitting it with a copy  
     
  The VA cannot provide flag holders for placement on private headstones or markers. These flag holders may be purchased from private manufacturing companies.  
     
  REIMBURSEMENT OF BURIAL EXPENSES  
     
  The VA will pay a burial allowance up to $1,500 if the veteranís death is service-connected. In some instances, 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 cases, the person who bore the veteranís burial expense may claim reimbursement from VA.  
     
  The VA will pay a $300 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at the time of death, were entitled to receive a pension or a VA Disability compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay.  
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  Reference:Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) Website and DAV Magazine  
     
  For more detailed information see:†† http://www.cem.va.gov/hm.htm