Veterans Benefits: Burial Benefits and National Cemeteries
Congressional research rept.
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS WASHINGTON DC CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE
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Burial benefits are monetary and nonmonetary benefits that eligible veterans receive for their military service. Nonmonetary burial benefits have been provided to servicemembers and veterans since the Civil War. Monetary burial benefits have been provided to servicemembers and veterans since World War I. Eligible veterans and active duty members of the Armed Forces can be interred in national cemeteries, and can receive government-furnished headstones or markers, presidential memorial certificates, and burial flags. Their spouses or surviving spouses, minor children, and, under certain conditions, unmarried adult children may also be buried in national cemeteries. Department of Veterans Affairs VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements for eligible veterans burial and funeral costs. The allowance amount provided depends on whether the veterans cause of death was service-connected or non-service-connected, or whether the death occurred in a VA facility. The next of kin to the veteran is eligible for reimbursement if he or she paid for the veterans burial or funeral and has not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veterans employer. The development of national cemeteries began as a result of the increasing number of Civil War casualties. The National Cemetery Act of 1867 was the first major piece of legislation to provide funds for, and directives about, national cemeteries. Today, there are 131 national cemeteries, along with 33 soldiers lots and monument sites, under the jurisdiction of the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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