If a veteran you love has died from an asbestos-related disease like mesothelioma, you may be able to access VA burial benefits. These benefits can cover the costs of a funeral and provide special services to honor the veteran’s sacrifices.
Veterans Burial Benefits Explained
Military service members put their lives at stake to defend our country, whether through active-duty combat or through exposure to cancer-causing materials like asbestos. Today, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) offers a wide range of burial benefits to give eligible veterans a proper send-off.
Almost all veterans and reservists can be buried in a national VA cemetery if they didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge. The VA also covers some of the burial expenses.
Other VA burial benefits include:
- Funeral honors
- Headstones or medallions
- Memorial flags
- Opening and closing of the grave
- Perpetual care
- Presidential Memorial Certificates (PMCs)
While most veterans with mesothelioma qualify for these benefits, the VA provides more compensation to those who died in active duty or from service-related health problems like mesothelioma.
Additionally, a veteran’s eligible spouses and dependent children may qualify for interment (burial) in a national cemetery. State veterans cemeteries may charge for burial of family members.
Get a free veterans packet to see if you can pursue burial benefits and other VA resources.
Why Seek VA Burial Benefits for Mesothelioma Veterans?
Through VA burial benefits, you can:
- Give your loved one a dignified funeral: Veterans and the U.S. Armed Forces never knew that asbestos — a mineral widely used in military bases, vehicles, and ships — could cause cancer. These veterans deserved to be honored if asbestos exposure during military service led to their death.
- Get a sense of community: Losing a veteran to a cancer like mesothelioma can be isolating. The VA offers burial benefits not only to honor veterans but also to support their families.
- Save money: Mesothelioma treatment can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The last thing you need is to worry about funeral costs while grieving a loss. VA burial allowances help cover these funeral expenses.
VA Burial Allowance for Service-Related Deaths
The VA burial allowance for a service-related death is up to $2,000 if the veteran died on or after September 11, 2001. The maximum allowance is $1,500 if the veteran died before that date.
If a veteran you love died from mesothelioma, you will need to prove that the cancer was related to military service in order to access a burial allowance. A VA-accredited mesothelioma lawyer can help make this process quick and simple.
With legal help, you can:
- Learn where the deceased veteran was exposed to asbestos while they served
- Gather evidence (such as military documents) needed to file a claim
- Pursue other VA burial benefits
There is no time limit for you to access a burial allowance if your loved one passed away due to a service-related disability, injury, or illness.