VA Burial Benefits for Mesothelioma Veterans

Quick Summary

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.

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Mesothelioma 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.

family holding American flag

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 burial compensation to those who died during 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 mesothelioma burial benefits and other VA resources.

Why Seek VA Burial Benefits for Mesothelioma Veterans?

Through VA mesothelioma burial benefits, you can:

  • 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.
  • Give your loved one a dignified funeral: Veterans of 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.
  • Save money: The last thing you need is to worry about funeral costs while grieving a loss. VA burial allowances help cover these funeral expenses.
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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:

  1. Learn where the deceased veteran was exposed to asbestos while they served
  2. Gather evidence (such as military documents) needed to file a claim
  3. File for a burial allowance and other VA 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.

Burial Allowance for Deaths Not Related to Military Service

Even if a veteran dies from mesothelioma that is not connected to their military service, you may still be able to get a burial allowance. Compensation amounts in these cases range from $1,034-$1,896, as of 2023.

The amount of compensation varies by:

  • Date of the veteran’s death: If a veteran died on or after October 1, 2023, the VA pays a total of $1,896 for their gravesite and burial. Lower amounts are paid if a veteran died before October 2023.
  • Where the veteran died: In previous years, veterans who passed away in a VA hospital may have been eligible for more money for their burial allowance and gravesite. Now if they died in a private hospital or elsewhere after October 1, 2023, the VA typically provides a flat rate of $948 for the burial allowance and $948 for their gravesite.

You have two years to file for a VA burial allowance if a veteran’s death is non-service-related.

Funeral Honors for Veterans With Mesothelioma

With military funeral honors, an honor guard made up of current service members will be present at the veteran’s funeral.

The honor guard will fold and present an American flag to the next of kin, with “Taps” played by a bugler or via electronic recording. At least one member of the honor guard will be a member of the veteran’s branch of service.

Funeral honors come at no cost to the veteran’s family.

veteran holding flowers

Eligibility Requirements for VA Funeral Honors

Your loved one may be eligible for VA funeral honors if they were:

  • A service member on active duty
  • A service member in the Selected Reserve
  • Honorably discharged

In the final case, you must provide proof that the veteran was honorably discharged, such as DD Form 214 (Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty) or another document.

Requesting Funeral Honors

You can schedule a VA burial and the accompanying funeral honors by working with a local funeral director and contacting the National Cemetery Scheduling Office.

Visit the VA’s official website for more information about scheduling military burials and funeral honors.

Veterans Headstone Applications

The VA provides a headstone allowance that ranges from $195 to $231, depending on when the veteran died.

The following individuals can apply for a headstone:

  1. Family members and/or friends
  2. Authorized representative on behalf of the veteran
  3. Authorized representative on behalf of the next of kin

If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, the headstone will be ordered by cemetery officials, and you’ll need to provide information for the inscription. If the burial is in a private cemetery, fill out VA Form 40-1330 (Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker) to get a headstone.

Contact us to see if you qualify for VA burial benefits. Fellow veterans, VA-accredited attorneys, and patient advocates can help you right now.

Other VA Mesothelioma Burial Benefits

Burial Flags

Surviving spouses or other family members can request an American flag to place over the veteran’s casket or to accompany their urn. To do so, fill out VA Form 27-2008 (Application For United States Flag For Burial Purposes) and bring it to a VA regional office, a U.S. post office, or a funeral home.

veterans placing flag on casket

Presidential Memorial Certificate (PMC)

This engraved paper is signed by the current U.S. president to honor the veteran’s life. Family members automatically receive a PMC if the veteran is buried in a national VA cemetery. You can request a PMC if the veteran is buried in a private cemetery instead.

VA Medallions

You can get a medallion if a veteran is buried in a private cemetery and the VA did not provide a headstone. The medallion is placed on the veteran’s headstone to show that they served their country.

Access VA Mesothelioma Burial Benefits

Navigating life after the death of a U.S. veteran you loved can be confusing, stressful, and even scary. You may have questions about filing for VA burial benefits and determining eligibility. Thankfully, you don’t have to go at it alone.

Our team is standing by to help you file your application for VA burial benefits and claims for other types of compensation, including VA pension. We have stood behind thousands of veterans and are ready to provide you with support and assistance too.

Get help filing your VA mesothelioma claim today.

Common Questions About Mesothelioma Burial Benefits

Are all veterans entitled to VA mesothelioma burial benefits?

A veteran may be entitled to VA burial benefits if they died from service-connected mesothelioma. Generally speaking, most veterans are able to get some VA burial benefits as long as they weren't dishonorably discharged.

However, veterans that died from a service-related injury or illness (like mesothelioma) may qualify for more VA burial benefits than those who didn't.

How long does it take to get VA burial benefits for mesothelioma?

It can sometimes take a few months to get VA burial benefits after filing. However, when you work with our VA-accredited attorneys, the process may be shorter and easier. Learn more about how we can help you by calling (877) 450-8973.

How do I file for mesothelioma VA burial benefits?

We can help you file for mesothelioma VA benefits — including burial benefits — right now. We have VA-accredited attorneys on staff to walk you through the process and get you all the benefits you deserve. We can also help you file private claims to get additional compensation.

Veterans Support Team
Eric P.W. Hall (Major USAFR) PhotoReviewed by:Eric P.W. Hall (Major USAFR)

VA-Accredited Attorney

  • Fact-Checked
  • Legal Editor

Eric P.W. Hall (Major USAFR) is an attorney, a former Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, and a legal advisor at the Mesothelioma Veterans Center. Today, Eric continues to serve as a Major in the United States Air Force Reserve (USAFR), where he is Deputy Staff Judge Advocate, upholding his dedication to his country and fellow veterans. Eric considers it his duty to help his veteran family and strives to help them navigate the VA and receive the benefits they bravely earned.

Christopher Dryfoos PhotoWritten by:

Contributing Author

Christopher Dryfoos is a journalist and member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA). As the grandson of the U.S. Navy’s first forensic pathologist, he aims to help veterans with mesothelioma access needed care.