Our nation honors its veterans, both in life and in death. Often, though, spouses or children of veterans are not aware of the burial benefits to which their relatives are entitled. For example, the Department of Veterans Affairs’ National Cemetery Administration provides, at no cost to the family of an eligible veteran, burial in a national cemetery that includes the gravesite; opening and closing of the grave; a headstone or marker; and perpetual care. The VA may also provide burial allowances under certain conditions, if the death is service-connected, to help defray funeral costs. Burial at sea is another option that many people don’t know about. Visit www.cem.va.gov for more information.

There are varying eligibility requirements for military funeral honors, burial in VA national and state veterans’ cemeteries, and Arlington National Cemetery. Burial options are often also available to the spouses of veterans. It’s critical for relatives to have access to the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Military Service known as the DD Form 214, which establishes eligibility. Another helpful form is the VA Form 40-10007 or the Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery. This can be completed before the death of either the veteran or spouse.

Navy Mutual Can Help
As part of Navy Mutual’s mission as the oldest federally recognized Veterans Service Organization, we help our members’ beneficiaries and relatives navigate the sometimes-complicated details around these benefits. Your beneficiaries should know that they can always contact Navy Mutual to obtain help in identifying applicable benefits related to military service.