Burial Benefits

Adams County Veterans Service Office assists county residents with obtaining burial benefits for a veteran through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. We will help you gather all necessary forms and assist you in filing for burial benefits. Veterans Affairs provides four separate burial benefits:

  • Burial Allowance
  • Burial Flags
  • Headstones and Burial Markers
  • Presidential Memorial Certificate

Burial Allowance

VA burial allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements are generally described as two payments: a burial and funeral expense allowance, and a plot or interment allowance.


You may be eligible for a VA burial allowance if:

  • You paid for a veteran's burial or funeral
  • You have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer
  • The veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable

Eligibility Conditions

In addition, at least one of the following conditions must be met:

  • The veteran died because of a service-related disability.
  • The veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death.
  • The veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay.
  • The veteran died while hospitalized by VA, or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility.
  • The veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at VA expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care.
  • The veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date of death.
  • The veteran died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.

Burial Flags

One United States flag is provided, at no cost, to drape the casket or accompany the urn of deceased Veteran who served honorably in the U. S. Armed Forces. Typically the burial flag is filed for by the funeral director so it is there for the service. It is furnished to honor the memory of a Veteran’s military service to his or her country.

Headstones and Markers

For eligible veterans, the VA furnishes upon request, at no charge to the applicant, a government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any deceased eligible veteran in any cemetery around the world.

For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, the VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a medallion to be affixed to the privately purchased headstone.

When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, the headstone or marker will be filed for by the national cemetery officials. If the burial is in a state cemetery or private cemetery, a veteran service officer will help you file for it.

Eligibility Exceptions

Spouses and dependents are not eligible for a government-furnished headstone or marker unless they are buried in a national cemetery, state veteran's cemetery or military post / base cemetery.

Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself; however, arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant's responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.

Presidential Memorial Certificates

A Presidential Memorial Certificate is an engraved paper certificate, signed by the current President, to honor the memory of honorably discharged deceased veterans. Multiple copies of these can be acquired for family members if requested. Statutory authority for the program is Section 112, Title 38, of the United States Code and was established by President John F. Kennedy in 1962.