What to do when a Veteran passes away
The loss of a loved one is a difficult experience.
The VA has established a streamlined process for families, executors and legal representatives to follow to notify VA about the death of a Veteran.
Why should I notify the VA about the death of a Veteran?
- By Updating the Veteran’s information, you will reduce the likelihood of VA continuing to send correspondence about VA benefits, services, and bills.
- Notifying VA limits the chance for others to falsely use the Veteran’s identity
- You are helping the VA maintain up-to-date records, which will enhance the agency’s efforts to better distribute services to the Veteran community.
Steps for notifying the VA
- Contact your State or county representative.
- Give your representative the date of passing.
- When available give your representative a copy of the death certificate.
What are burial allowances? VA burial allowances are flat rate monetary benefits that are generally paid at the maximum rate amount authorized by law for an eligible Veteran’s burial and funeral costs. A VA regulation change in 2014 simplified the program to pay eligible survivors quickly and efficiently. Eligible surviving spouses of record are paid automatically upon notification of the Veteran’s death, without the need to submit a claim. VA may grant additional benefits, including the plot or internment allowance and transportation allowance if it receives a claim for these benefits.
If the burial benefit has not been automatically paid to the surviving spouse, VA will pay the first person to file a claim of those listed below:
- Veterans Surviving Spouse or
- The survivor of a legal union or (formal relationship between the decedent and survivor prior to the date of the Veterans death which was recognized under the law of the State as evidenced by the State’s issuance of documentation).
- The veterans children regardless of age or
- The Veterans parents or surviving parent or
- The executor or administrator of the estate of the deceased Veteran
The Veteran must also have been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable and at least one of the following conditions must be met:
- the Veteran died as a result of a service-connected disability or
- the Veteran was receiving VA pension or compensation at the time of death or
- the Veteran was entitled to receive VA pension or compensation, but decided instead to receive his or her full military retirement or disability pay or
- the Veteran died while hospitalized by VA or while receiving care under VA contract at a non-VA facility or
- 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 or
- the Veteran had an original or reopened claim for VA compensation or pension pending at the time of death and would have been entitled to benefits from a date prior tot he date of death or
- the Veteran died on or after October 9, 1996 while a patient at a VA-approved state nursing home.
Any Honorably Discharged Veteran is eligible to be buried at any National Cemetery free of charge. Veterans are also eligible to order a Government Headstone at no charge for placement in a private cemetery; however, the family must pay to place the stone.
How much does it pay?
Service connected death: If the Veteran died on or after September 11, 2001, the maximum service-connected burial allowance is $2000. If the Veteran died before September 11, 2001, the maximum service-connected burial allowance is $1500. If the Veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, VA may reimburse some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased Veterans remains.
- If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2013 but before October 1, 2014, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $734 for a plot.
- If the Veteran died on or after October 1, 2012 but before October 1, 2013, VA will pay a $300 burial allowance and $722 for a plot.
if a Veteran dies and their remains are unclaimed, the entity responsible for the burial of the Veteran would be entitled to a $300 burial allowance. If the Veteran is buried at a National Cenetery, VA may reimburse the cost of transporting the deceased Veteran’s remains.
To Apply for burial benefits include the paid receipt with the below application:
Fort Logan National Cemetery
Fort Logan National Cemetery
Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed federal holidays except Memorial Day.Visitation Hours:
Open daily from sunrise to sunset.
Burial Space:This cemetery has space available to accommodate casketed and cremated remains.
General Information Kiosk on Site? Yes
Burial Flag Request
To Request A Burial Flag, please use the below form.
Fort Lyon National Cemetery
15700 County Rd HH
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado was authorized by the Colorado Legislature in 1999 to honor Colorado veterans. Construction began in June, 2001 and was completed on September 4, 2002. The Cemetery officially opened on September 5, 2002. A total of three interments occurred on that day with the first being that of Aidan J. Quinn, a World War I veteran who was interred in Columbarium 1.The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado is located on 22.5 acres at 2830 Riverside Parkway, Grand Junction, Colorado, just east of the Grand Junction Regional Center. It has a capacity of 3,337 units, including 1,758 units for casketed remains and 1,579 units for cremated remains (of which 861 are columbarium wall niches). Additionally, there are 775 memorial garden plots available for veterans whose remains were not recovered or were donated to science or are otherwise unavailable for interment.
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado is intended to be a dignified final resting place for Colorado. There are memorial walks on either side of the creek running northeast to southwest through the Cemetery. These walks pass by each of the five columbaria in front of which are benches for visitors. There are landscaped areas for in-ground interments that are characterized by thoughtful placement of trees, shrubs, and other plantings. These areas provide additional places for individual reflection.
The Veterans Memorial Cemetery of Western Colorado conveys the appreciation of the people of Colorado to its veterans for answering the call of duty and faithfully and honorably serving the United States of America and the State of Colorado. Eligibility for burial in the cemetery is the same as for Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries but includes a residency requirement.
Headstones, Markers and Medallions
The Department of Veterans Affairs (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, regardless of their date of death.
For eligible veterans that died on or after Nov. 1, 1990 and whose grave is marked with a privately purchased headstone, VA may also furnish a headstone or marker to supplement the graves or a Medallion to be affixed to a privately purchased headstone.
Flat markers in granite, marble, and bronze and upright headstones in granite and marble are available. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbaria used for interment of cremated remains. The style chosen must be permitted by the officials in charge of the private cemetery where it will be placed.
When burial or memorialization is in a national cemetery, state Veterans’ cemetery, or military post/base cemetery, a headstone or marker will be ordered by the cemetery officials based on inscription information provided by the next of kin or authorized representative.
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.