It is somewhat of a misconception that the Department of Veterans Affairs will pay for the funeral of a veteran. In actuality, the closest they come to paying for the full funeral is in the case of an active duty serviceman’s death in the line of duty. What we will cover here is a simplified list of the benefits available from the VA to a veteran.
A. Any veteran having any active or reserve duty service and having been discharged from service, other than a dishonorable discharge, is entitled to: A flag, flag folding team, and a cemetery flag holder
B. Any veteran having served at least 2 years active duty is entitled to the benefits above plus a cemetery marker (bronze, granite, or marble), burial in a national cemetery and a vault (there will be no charge for the plot, opening, or vault). These are provided to the veteran, a spouse, and dependent child(ren).
C. Any veteran having died in a VA medical hospital or nursing facility, or who is receiving a medical disability from the service or who is eligible or currently receiving a military pension is entitled all the benefits listed above plus: a sum of money between $300 and $1000 to cover the transportation from the place of death to the funeral home, a plot allowance, and the transportation to the cemetery or final disposition. The amount of the reimbursement is dependent on a number of factors.
D. Any veteran having served active duty during a war time period is entitled to the benefits listed in A and B plus a county VA benefit of $100 towards the final services. This benefit also extends to the death of a spouse of said veteran and the benefit is paid the family.
Here is a link to the Department of Veterans Affairs website for a more detail accounting of the benefits available: www.benefits.va.gov/compensation/claims-special-burial.asp