age, or under 23 years of age if pursuing a full-time course of instruction at an approved educational institution.
Eligible veteran’s unmarried adult children who became physically or mentally disabled and incapable of self-support before reaching the age of 21, or 23 if a full-time student, also are eligible for burial.
Grave sites in the national cemeteries cannot be reserved. The funeral director or the next of kin makes interment arrangements for an eligible veteran or dependent at the time of need by contacting the national cemetery in which the burial is desired. Reservations made under previous programs are honored. VA normally does not conduct burials on weekends. However, weekend callers will be directed to a national cemetery that can schedule burials for the following week at all national cemeteries.
Arlington National Cemetery: Arlington National Cemetery is operated by the Department of the Army.
Eligibility for burials is more restrictive than at other national cemeteries. Information on Arlington National Cemetery burials may be found on the internet (www.arlingtoncemetery.org), or by writing to Superintendent, Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA 22211, or calling (703) 695-3250.
Department of the Interior and State Veterans Cemeteries: The two active national cemeteries administered by the Department of the Interior are Andersonville National Cemetery in Georgia and Andrew Johnson National Cemetery in Tennessee. Eligibility for burial is similarly to VA cemetery eligibility. Cemeteries for veterans also are operated by many states. Contact the state cemetery or state veterans affairs office, as the eligibility requirements for these cemeteries may differ from those for national cemeteries.
Headstones and Markers:
Upon request, VA furnishes headstones or markers worldwide and at no charge for the grave of an eligible veteran or a service member who dies while on active duty. VA also provides headstones or markers for spouses and dependents buried in military, state or national veterans cemeteries, but not for those buried in private cemeteries. Flat bronze, granite or marble markers and upright granite and marble headstones are available. In the case of national cemeteries, the style chosen must be consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Niche markers also are available to mark columbaria used for inurnment of cremated remains.
Government-furnished headstones and markers must be inscribed with the name of the deceased, branch of service, and the year of birth and death, in this order. Headstones and markers also may be inscribed with other items, including an authorized emblem of belief and, space permitting, additional text including military grade, rate or rank, war service such as “World War II”, complete dates of birth and death, military awards, military organizations and civilian or veteran affiliations. When burial or memorialized is in a national, state or military veterans cemetery, the headstone or marker must be ordered through cemetery officials. To apply and to obtain specific information on available styles, contact the cemetery where the headstone or marker is to be placed.
When burial occurs in a private cemetery, an application for a government-furnished headstone or marker must be made to VA. The government will ship the headstone or marker free of charge, but will not pay for its placement. Headstones and markers previously provided by the government may be replaced ay government expense if badly deteriorated, illegible, stolen or vandalized.
To apply, mail a completed VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker for installation in a private or state veterans cemetery, along with a copy of the veteran’s military service discharge document to Memorial Programs Service (402E), Department of Veterans Affairs, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20420-0001. Or fax documents to 1-800-455-7143. Do not send original discharge documents, as they will not be returned. For information and application instructions, visit (www.cem.va.gov).
Memorial Headstone or Markers:
VA provides memorial headstones and markers, bearing the inscription “ In Memory of “ as their first line, to memorialize eligible veterans whose remains were not recovered or identified were buried at sea. Donated to science or cremated and scattered. Eligible dependents may be memorialized only in a national or state veterans cemeteries. To be memorialized, dependents do not need to outlive the veteran from whom their eligibility is based.
Memorial Headstones or markers must be placed in a national, state veterans, local or private cemeteries. VA supplies and ships memorial headstones and markers free of charge for placement in state, local and private cemeteries, but does not pay for their plots or placement.
Presidential Memorial Certificates:
Certificates sign by the president are issued upon request to recognize the military service of honorably discharged deceased veterans. Next of kin, other relatives and friends may request Presidential Memorial Certificates in person at any VA regional office or by mail: Presidential Memorial Certificates (402E), National Cemetery Administration, 810 Vermont Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20420-0001. There is no pre-printed from to complete or time limit fro requesting these certificates, but requests should include a copy, not the original, of the deceased veteran’s discharge document and clearly indicate to what address the certificate should be sent.
Find additional information and a sample certificate at (www.cem.va.gov/pmc.asp).
Military Funeral Honors:
Upon request, the Department of Defense will provide military funeral honors for the burial of military members and eligible veterans. A basic military funeral honors ceremony consists of the folding and presentation of the United States flag and the playing of Taps by a bugler, if available, or by electronic recording. A funeral honors detail to perform this ceremony consists of two or more uniformed members of the armed forces, with at least one member from the service in which the deceased veteran served.
Military members on active duty or in the Selected Reserve are eligible for military funeral honors, Also eligible are former military members who served on active duty and departed under conditions other than dishonorable, former members of the Selected Reserve who completed at least one term of enlistment or period of initial obligated service and departed under conditions other than dishonorable, and former military members discharged from the Selective Reserve due to a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty.
The Department of Defense maintains a toll free telephone line (1-877-MIL-HONR) 1-877-645-4667 for use by funeral directors only to honor requests. Family members should inform their funeral directors if they desire military funeral honors for a veteran. VA national cemetery staff can can help arrange honors during burials at VA national cemeteries. Veterans service organizations or volunteer groups may help provide honors. For more information, visit the military funeral honors web page (www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.mil).
Burial Flags: VA will furnish a United States burial flag for memorialized of:
1. Veterans who served during wartime, or served after January 31, 1955.
2. Veterans who were entitled to retirement pay for service in the reserves, or would have been entitled to such pay but not for being under 60 years of age.
3. Members or former members of the Selective Reserves who served at least one enlistment or in case the of an officer, the period of initial obligation or were discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty or died while a member of the Selected Reserve.
Your VA Counselor can help you with the following:
Reimbursement of Burial Expenses:
VA will pay a burial allowance up to $2,000.00 if the veteran’s death is service-connected. In some instances, VA also will pay the cost of transporting the remains of a service-disabled veteran to the national cemetery nearest the home of the deceased that has available grave sites. In such cases, the person who bore the veteran’s burial expenses may claim reimbursement from VA. There is no time limit for filing reimbursement claims in service-connected death cases.
VA will pay a $300.00 burial and funeral expense allowance for veterans who, at the time of death, were entitled to receive pension or compensation or would have been entitled to compensation but for receipt of military retirement pay. Eligibility also may be established when death occurs in a VA facility, a nursing home under VA contract or a state veterans nursing home. Additional costs of transportation of the remains may be paid. In non service-connected death cases, claims must be filed within two years after permanent burial or cremation.
VA will pay a $300.00 plot allowance when a veteran is not buried in a cemetery that is under U.S. government jurisdiction under the following circumstances: The veteran was discharged from active duty because of disability incurred or aggravated in the line of duty; the veteran was in receipt of compensation or pension or would have been except for receiving military retirement pay; or the veteran died in a VA facility.
The $300.00 plot allowance must be paid to the state if a veteran is buried without charge for the cost of a plot or interment in a state-owned cemetery reserved solely for veteran burials. Burials expenses paid by the deceased’s employer or a state agency will not be reimbursed.
For information on monetary benefits call your Local State Veterans Counselor: Buffalo Regional Office of Veterans Affairs 130 South Elmwood Avenue, Buffalo, New York 14202-2478 Phone # 1(800)-827-1000
Fax # 1-716-857-3396. (www.vba.va.gov/ro/buffalo/default.htm)
Please call ahead for an appointment for either office below.
Erie County Veterans Service Agency
Veterans Service Agency: Rath Building, 95 Franklin Street, Suite 1254, Buffalo, New York 14202
Niagara County Veterans Service Agency
Lockport Veteran’s Administration Office: 111 Main Street Lockport, New York 14094 , 1 (716) 438-4090
Take Ward road to Route 31 (Sanborn), turn right continue on route 31 into Lockport. Turn left at the light onto Transit Road (Route 78) and turn right at the next light which is Main Street, Continue on Main Street to Market Street. (Approx 2 or 3 blocks). Turn left on Market Street and make a right turn into the first driveway, this is the parking lot and entrance to the building.