To serve in the military on behalf of one’s country is a point of pride for veterans. Their contribution, no matter how much time has passed, is something worthy of recognition at the end of their life.

Unfortunately, not every family has the financial means to offer their loved one a proper military funeral to recognize their service.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has established a program to offer financial aid to the families of veterans who have died.

Who is this program for?

Financial aid is offered to the families of veterans who have died in service or to those who have died non-service related deaths but have previously served in the military.

In 2014, the program changed from a reimbursement model to a flat-rate model.

Veterans Affairs pays a flat rate to help cover burial plots and burial proceedings. This new model helps to process payments more efficiently to families.

According to Veterans Affairs: “The burial allowance for a non-service-connected death is $300, and $2,000 for a death connected to military service.”


For a service-related death, Veterans Affairs pays up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths occurring on or after September 11, 2001 or up to $1,500 for deaths occurring prior to this. If the veteran is buried in a national cemetery for veterans, costs of transporting the body may also be reimbursed.

For non-service-related deaths, Veterans Affairs will pay up to $796 toward burial and funeral expenses for deaths occurring on or after October 1, 2019.

The amount varies if the veteran is hospitalized in a Veterans Affairs facility at the time of death. It also varies depending on whether the veteran is to be buried in a national cemetery or not. Please read the detailed Veterans Affairs guide for financial information.


To be eligible, your family must not have previously accepted funding for the burial of this veteran. They must not have died during active service, which falls under a separate government program.

And, you need to have paid for the burial to receive funding.

The veteran must also not have been dishonorably discharged.

To qualify, you must submit proof of death, bills incurred during funeral planning and a statement of account from the funeral home or burial service provider.

Based in Canada? Please read our detailed guide on Veterans Funeral and Burial Benefits in Canada.