VA announced today that it now provides eligibility determinations for interment in a VA national cemetery prior to the time of need. Through the Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program, upon request, individuals can learn if they are eligible for burial or memorialization in a VA national cemetery.

“MyVA is about looking at VA from the Veterans’ perspective, and then doing everything we can to make the Veteran Experience effective and seamless,” said VA Secretary Bob McDonald. “This new program reaffirms our commitment to providing a lifetime of benefits and services for Veterans and their families.”

Interested individuals may submit VA Form 40-10007, Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, and supporting documentation, such as a DD Form 214, if readily available, to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office by: toll-free fax at 1-855-840-8299; email to; or mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.

VA will review applications and provide written notice of its determination of eligibility. VA will save determinations and supporting documentation in an electronic information system to expedite burial arrangements at the time of need. Because laws and personal circumstances change, upon receipt of a burial request, VA will validate all pre-need determinations in accordance with the laws in effect at that time

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VA operates 135 national cemeteries and 33 soldiers’ lots in 40 states and Puerto Rico. More than 4 million Americans, including Veterans of every war and conflict, are buried in VA’s national cemeteries. VA also provides funding to establish, expand and maintain 105 Veterans cemeteries in 47 states and territories including tribal trust lands, Guam, and Saipan. For Veterans buried in private or other cemeteries, VA provides headstones, markers or medallions to commemorate their service. In 2016, VA honored more than 345,000 Veterans and their loved ones with memorial benefits in national, state, tribal and private cemeteries.

Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any open VA national cemetery, opening/closing of the grave, a grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite, and a government-furnished headstone or marker or niche cover, all at no cost to the family. Veterans are also eligible for a burial flag and may be eligible for a Presidential Memorial Certificate. Information on VA burial benefits is available from local VA national cemetery offices, from the Internet at, or by calling VA regional offices toll-free at 800-827-1000.  To make burial arrangements at any open VA national cemetery at the time of need, call the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117.



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Published on Dec. 8, 2016

Estimated reading time is 2.1 min.

Views to date: 121


  1. DANNY GRATTAN December 16, 2016 at 2:54 pm

    thanks thats a great idea on the pre eligiblity why not at the same time let us write what we what on our head stone (epitaph)

  2. Paul W French December 15, 2016 at 7:34 pm

    I have read what the Veterans are entitled to at burial time dealing with what is actually covered, but what about anything that is not covered? Are the following things covered as well?:

    The coffin itself, funeral services, pall bearers, escort officers, death certificate, flower arrangements on top of coffin, and burial announcements (death announcements, thank you notes, letters, newspaper about death). My wife was concerned about all of this since it will be a very stressful day for her, and also if I would need to get life insurance for death benefit for me passing away?

    I would appreciate any help and information you can provide for me, thanks very much.

  3. Herman hudson December 11, 2016 at 7:17 am

    I think it is about time. That some one cares.

  4. Mel Eder December 10, 2016 at 3:46 pm

    The pre-need-eligibility is great news. Before the family members had to do this upon the death of the veteran. Now it can be done before and makes it easier for the family to help locate the DD-214 and fill out the paper work.

  5. william vito pazienza December 9, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    can u please send me an email with copy of my DD214 the one i have is old and it is not good enough for my refinance with VA because they cant read line 11A my serial is (REDACTED) served from 3/57 to 2/1959 any help would be greatly appreciated thank you bill

    • Gary Hicks December 12, 2016 at 8:55 am

      Mr. Pazienza,

      VA does not provide DD214s, those are available from the National Archives. Here’s a link explaining the various ways to request a copy

      However, VA does provide Certificates of Eligibility (COE) for home loans. For convenience, some of the information from the link is pasted below.

      Applying for a COE
      After gathering the evidence you need, you can apply for your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) in the following ways.
      Servicemembers, Veterans, and National Guard and Reserve Members
      Apply online
      To get your Certificate of Eligibility (COE) online, please go to the eBenefits portal. If you already have login credentials, click the Login box, and if you need login credentials, please click the Register box and follow the directions on the screen. If you need any assistance please call the eBenefits Help Desk at 1-800-983-0937. Their hours are Monday-Friday, 8am to 8pm EST.
      Apply through your lender
      Most lenders have access to the Web LGY system. This Internet-based application can establish eligibility and issue an online COE in a matter of seconds. Not all cases can be processed through Web LGY – only those for which VA has sufficient data in our records. However, Veterans are encouraged to ask their lenders about this method of obtaining a certificate.
      Apply by mail
      Use VA Form 26-1880, Request for Certificate of Eligibility.
      Surviving Spouses
      Spouses can take the VA form 26-1817 to their lender for processing (see Apply Through Lender above) or may mail the 26-1817 and DD214 (if available) to the following address:
      Download VA Form 26-1817, Request for Determination of Loan Guaranty Eligibility – Unmarried Surviving Spouses
      If you can’t print the form, just call 1-877-827-3702 and follow the prompts for Eligibility and we will mail the form to you.
      Send the completed form to:
      VA Loan Eligibility Center
      Attn: COE (262)
      PO Box 100034
      Decatur, GA 30031

  6. Richard Jasztal December 9, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    I am planing on being interred in the National Cemetery in Bushnell, FL. My father and 2 brothers are there and I’ve been there many times. It is truly beautiful place and is perfectly maintained by the staff and volunteers that work on the grounds continually. It is truly one of the great benefits afforded Veterans in this country, and I am proud to be one of them.

  7. kennrth gierich December 9, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    i live 90 miles from veteran cemetery

    • Donald A. Schriver December 11, 2016 at 4:05 pm

      I realize that if you selected a vet cemetery for burial, the 90 mile commute might be difficult for your family to go when they came to visit

  8. kennrth gierich December 9, 2016 at 2:09 pm

    i am a nam vet but the vet cemetery is 90 miles from where i live so i cant be buried there.

    • Scott langston December 10, 2016 at 8:08 am

      being 90 miles or more from the vet cemetery by itself does not bar you from being buried there. as long as you meet eligibility requirements in the link above having to do with terms of service and discharge you can be buried at any cemetery that is still open.

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