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VA Claims: Disabled Veterans Community|Hadit.com
VA Burial Benefits: Service-Connected or Non-Service Connected – There’s a Benefit for You

VA Burial Benefits: Service-Connected or Non-Service Connected – There’s a Benefit for You

How to Apply for a Veterans Burial Allowance

Source: VA.gov

Find out how to get Veterans burial allowances to help cover burial, funeral, and transportation costs.

Can I get allowances to help pay for a Veteran’s burial and funeral costs?

You may be able to get burial allowances if you’re paying for the burial and funeral costs, and if any of the below relationships or professional roles describes your connection to the Veteran.

One of these must describe your relationship or role. You’re:

  • The Veteran’s surviving spouse (Note: we recognize same-sex marriages), or
  • A surviving child of the Veteran, or
  • A parent of the Veteran, or
  • The executor or administrator of the Veteran’s estate (someone who officially represents the Veteran)

To get this benefit, the Veteran must NOT have received a dishonorable discharge, and one of the below circumstances must be true.

One of these must be true of the Veteran. They:

  • Died as a result of a service-connected disability (a disability related to service), or
  • Had been getting a VA pension or compensation when they died, or
  • Had chosen to get military retired pay instead of compensation, or
  • Died while getting VA care, either at a VA facility or at a facility contracted by VA, or
  • Died while traveling to approved VA care, or
  • Died with a reopened claim for VA compensation or a pension that would have qualified them to get benefits, or
  • Died on or after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home

Note: Veterans Affairs will also provide an allowance for the cost of transporting a Veteran’s remains for burial in a national cemetery.

When do I need to file a claim?

You must file a claim for a non-service-connected burial allowance within 2 years after the Veteran’s burial or cremation. If a Veteran’s discharge was changed after death from dishonorable to another status, you must file for an allowance claim within 2 years after the discharge update.

There’s no time limit to file for a service-connected burial, plot, or interment allowance.

What kind of benefits can I get?

  • An allowance for burial and funeral costs
  • An allowance for the plot or interment
  • An allowance for transporting the Veteran’s remains for burial in a national cemetery

What documents and information do I need to apply?

You may need a copy of:

  • The Veteran’s military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)
  • The Veteran’s death certificate
  • Any documents you have for the cost of transporting the Veteran’s remains

How do I apply?

You can apply online right now. Apply for Burial Benefits

You can also apply:

By mail
Apply by mail using an Application for Burial Benefits (VA Form 21P-530). 
Download VA Form 21P-530.

Mail the application and other paperwork to your nearest VA regional benefit office. 
Find your nearest VA regional benefit office.

If you have questions, call 1-800-827-1000, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. (ET). Our TTY number for people with hearing impairments is 711. Or call your VA regional benefit office.


Burial Allowance Amounts

What are the burial allowance amounts for a service-connected death?

StatusMaximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after September 11, 2001$2,000
If the Veteran died before September 11, 2001$1,500
If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemeteryWe may pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains

What are the burial allowance amounts for a non-service-connected death?

StatusMaximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $762 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $749 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $747 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $745 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014We’ll pay a $300 burial allowance and $734 for a plot

What are the burial allowance amounts if the Veteran was hospitalized by VA at the time of their death?

StatusMaximum Burial Allowance
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2017We’ll pay a $762 burial allowance and $762 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2016We’ll pay a $749 burial allowance and $749 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2015We’ll pay a $747 burial allowance and $747 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2014, but before October 1, 2015We’ll pay a $745 burial allowance and $745 for a plot
If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013, but before October 1, 2014We’ll pay a $734 burial allowance and $734 for a plot
  • We may also pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains if they were hospitalized or in a VA-contracted nursing home at the time of death.
  • We may pay you back for some or all of the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains if they died while traveling to VA-authorized care.

Note: If a Veteran’s remains aren’t claimed, we’ll pay the person or organization responsible for the Veteran’s burial a $300 burial allowance. If the deceased qualifies, we may pay you back for the costs of moving the Veteran’s remains to a VA national cemetery.

Medallions for Veterans Buried in Private Cemeteries

Bronze Medallions

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a medallion, by request, to be affixed to an existing, privately purchased headstone or marker to signify the deceased’s status as a Veteran.

This device is furnished in lieu of a traditional Government headstone or grave marker for those Veterans who served on or after Apr. 6, 1917 and whose grave in a private cemetery is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker.

Why choose a medallion: Bronze medallions are durable and can be easily affixed to privately purchased headstones by anyone, avoiding headstone or marker setting fees. The medallion also offers a way to identify the grave as that of a Veteran when a cemetery only allows one headstone per grave, preventing the use of a standard VA marker as a footstone.

Bronze Medallion Sizes: The medallion is available in three sizes: Large(6-3/8”W x 4-3/4”H x 1/2”D), Medium (3-3/4”W x 2-7/8”H x 1/4″D) and Small (2”W x 1-1/2”H x 1/3”D). Each medallion is inscribed with the word “VETERAN” across the top and the branch of service at the bottom.

Medal of Honor Medallion Sizes: The Medal of Honor (MOH) Medallion comes in Medium and Large. Each medallion is inscribed with “MEDAL OF HONOR” at the top and the branch of service at the bottom.

To request a medallion, please use VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion for Placement in a Private Cemetery. When requesting the MOH Medallion, check “OTHER” in block 11 and specify MOH.

Once a claim for a medallion is received and approved, VA will mail the medallion along with a kit that will allow the family or the staff of a private cemetery to affix the device to a headstone, grave marker, mausoleum or columbarium niche cover.

Important: This benefit is only applicable if the grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. In these instances, eligible Veterans are entitled to either a traditional Government-furnished headstone or marker, or the new medallion, but not both.

For family members of eligible Veterans interested in submitting a claim for the medallion, instructions on how to apply for a medallion are available. Please use: 

Am I eligible for emergency care at a non-VA facility?

Am I eligible for emergency care at a non-VA facility?

Emergency Medical Care

During a medical emergency, Veterans should immediately seek care at the nearest medical facility. A medical emergency is an injury, illness or symptom so severe that without immediate treatment, you believe your life or health is in danger.

The following is from VA’s community care page located here.

Veterans Affairs Emergency Care

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2gkfgd31Ifk

Veterans do not need to check with VA before calling for an ambulance or going to an emergency department. During a medical emergency, VA encourages all Veterans to seek immediate medical attention without delay. A claim for emergency care will never be denied based solely on VA not receiving notification prior to seeking care.

It is, however, important to promptly notify VA after receiving emergency care at a community emergency department. Notification should be made within 72 hours of admission to a community medical facility. This allows VA to assist the Veteran in coordinating necessary care or transfer, and helps to ensure that the administrative and clinical requirements for VA to pay for the care are met.

IMPORTANT: An emergency department (ED) is a facility that is staffed and equipped to provide emergency treatment and does not include community facilities that provide medical treatment in situations other than emergencies.

VA Payments for Emergency Transportation
VA can pay for emergency transportation provided by a community provider for a Veteran’s service-connected condition and nonservice-connected condition, but there are specific requirements that must be met before VA can reimburse these costs*.

Service-Connected Emergency Care

In general, VA can pay for emergency medical care at a local ED for a Veteran’s service-connected condition, or if the care is related to a Veteran’s service-connected condition. Specifically, emergency medical care for a Veteran’s service-connected or related (adjunct) condition(s) is eligible for VA payment as long as the VA wasn’t reasonably available to provide the care.

In accordance with the following situations and requirements, VA can pay emergency care costs for:

  1. A Veteran who receives emergency treatment of a service-connected, or adjunct condition* in a community emergency department; OR
  2. A Veteran who is Permanently and Totally disabled (P&T) as the result of a service-connected condition is eligible for emergency treatment of ANY condition; OR
  3. A Veteran who is participating in a VA Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and who requires emergency treatment to expedite their return to the program, is eligible for emergency treatment for any condition; AND (scenarios 1-3 must all meet #4)
  4. The emergency was of such a nature that the Veteran (or other prudent layperson without medical training) would reasonably believe that any delay in seeking immediate medical attention would cause their life or health to be placed in jeopardy.

NOTE: A service-connected condition is one that has been adjudicated by the Veterans Benefits Administration (VBA) and a disability rating has been granted. An adjunct condition is one that, while not directly service-connected, is medically considered to be aggravating a service-connected condition. Legal authorities and payment methods for VA payment for emergency care for service-connected conditions are contained in Title 38 U.S.C. §172838 CFR §17.120 and 38 CFR §17.132.

Nonservice-Connected Emergency Care

VA can also pay for emergency medical care at a community ED for a Veteran’s nonservice-connected condition. However, there are several requirements and factors that affect the extent to which VA can cover those services. Specifically, emergency medical care for a Veteran’s nonservice-connected condition(s) is eligible for VA payment when all of the following five elements are true:

  1. Care was provided in a hospital emergency department (or similar public facility held to provide emergency treatment to the public); AND
  2. The emergency was of such a nature that the Veteran (or other prudent layperson without medical training) would reasonably believe that any delay in seeking immediate medical attention would cause their life or health to be placed in jeopardy; AND
  3. A VA medical facility or another Federal facility was not reasonably available to provide the care; AND
  4. The Veteran is enrolled and has received care within a VA facility during the 24 months before the emergency care; AND
  5. The Veteran is financially liable to the provider of emergency treatment.

There are limitations on VA’s ability to provide coverage when a Veteran has other health insurance (OHI). If OHI does not fully cover the costs of treatment, VA can pay certain costs for which the Veteran is personally liable. By law, VA cannot pay copayments, coinsurance, deductibles, or similar payments a Veteran may owe to the provider as required by their OHI.

VA is also legally prohibited from providing coverage for individuals covered under a health plan contract because of a failure by the Veteran or the provider to comply with the provisions of that health plan contract, e.g., failure to submit a bill or medical records within specified time limits, or failure to exhaust appeals of the denial of payment.

NOTE: Legal authorities and payment methods for VA payment for emergency care for nonservice-connected conditions are contained in Title 38 U.S.C. §1725 and 38 CFR §17.1000.

Emergency Care in Foreign Counties

VA can pay for emergency medical care outside the United States if the emergency is related to a Veteran’s service-connected condition. Contact the Foreign Medical Program at 1-877-345-8179 or visit our Foreign Medical Program page for more information.

Foreign Medical Program

After Receiving Care

Once a Veteran’s immediate emergency medical care needs have been addressed, the Veteran, a family member, friend, or hospital staff member should contact the nearest VA medical facility within 72 hours. Once notified, VA staff will assist the Veteran and/or his/her representatives in understanding eligibility and how eligibility relates to services rendered in the community. VA staff will also ensure that, if desired, the Veteran is transferred to a VA medical center upon stabilization and that the Veteran is set up to receive additional care, post discharge, without interruption.

IMPORTANT: When a Veteran receives emergency medical care, notifying VA as quickly as possible is always best. It ensures maximum VA coverage and assists the VA in providing the Veteran with the care they need.

Filing a Claim

Claims for emergency medical care should be submitted to VA as soon as possible after care has been provided. The deadline for filing a claim depends on whether care was provided for a service-connected condition or a nonservice-connected condition. The charts below describe the requirements, how to file a claim, and payment rates.

Requirements for filing an emergency care claim

Veterans/Veterans’ RepresentativesProviders
Veterans or their personal representatives may file a claim for reimbursement of emergency treatment costs that they have incurred and paid to the provider.

In this situation, Veterans should obtain and submit all related treatment and billing records to the closest VA medical facility.In most cases, providers will submit a claim directly to VA, and the Veteran will not have to take further action.
Submit claims for services not preauthorized by VA to the VA medical facility closest to where the emergent treatment was provided.

Submission must include a standard billing form (such as a CMS 1450 or CMS 1500), containing false claims notice.Submit claims via Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) transaction (such as an 837I or 837P).Documentation related to the medical care may be required prior to claim processing.

Filing deadlines for emergency care claims

Service-Connected ConditionNonservice-Connected Condition
Claims must be submitted to VA within two (2) years of the date emergency medical care was received. However, filing the claim as soon as possible after care has been provided is highly recommended because it helps ensure that all required documentation is readily available and that providers receive their payment in a timely manner.Claims must be submitted to VA within 90 days of the date of discharge, or 90 days from the date that all attempts to receive required payments from a liable third party are completed and not successful in eliminating the Veteran’s personal liability to the provider. A liable third party includes other health insurers, worker’s compensation, civil litigation, etc.

Filing deadlines for emergency care claims

Service-Connected ConditionNonservice-Connected Condition
Claims must be submitted to VA within two (2) years of the date emergency medical care was received. However, filing the claim as soon as possible after care has been provided is highly recommended because it helps ensure that all required documentation is readily available and that providers receive their payment in a timely manner.Claims must be submitted to VA within 90 days of the date of discharge, or 90 days from the date that all attempts to receive required payments from a liable third party are completed and not successful in eliminating the Veteran’s personal liability to the provider. A liable third party includes other health insurers, worker’s compensation, civil litigation, etc.

Payment rates for emergency care claims

Service-Connected ConditionNonservice-Connected Condition
Generally, 100% Medicare ratesGenerally, 70% Medicare rates

Receiving Payment from VA

Once a claim for emergency treatment is received by VA, the claim will be administratively reviewed to determine Veteran eligibility. If the Veteran meets the administrative eligibility criteria to receive emergency care in the community, the treatment documentation will then be reviewed by VA clinical staff to determine if the treatment received meets the clinical criteria necessary for VA to pay for the care.

VA makes every effort to adjudicate claims for emergency treatment quickly and accurately. When further information or clarification is needed by VA, claims processing may be delayed.

If a Veteran is charged for emergency care received in the community and believes the charges should be covered by VA, they should contact the nearest VA medical facility as soon as possible. VA staff will assist the Veteran in understanding eligibility and in determining whether the bill received is appropriate. VA will assist the Veteran and work to resolve any billing issues with the community provider.

Resources

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