The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) will reimburse for the purchase of a casket or urn used to inter a deceased, Unclaimed Veteran in a VA national cemetery or a VA-funded State or Tribal Veterans’ cemetery if the Veteran died with no identifiable next of kin and insufficient resources to pay for a casket or urn.
WHO – Any individual or entity that pays for a casket or urn used to inter an eligible Unclaimed Veteran, in a VA national cemetery or VA-grant funded State or Tribal Veterans’ cemetery.
WHAT – VA will reimburse the actual cost of a casket or urn, not to exceed an established average annual cost, for a 20-gauge metal casket or a durable plastic urn. The maximum allowable reimbursement payable in calendar year 2019 is $2,681 for a casket and $162 for an urn.
HOW – Applicants must submit VA Form 40-10088, Request for Reimbursement of Casket/Urn. Part I should be submitted with documentation of qualifying military service to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office (NCSO). Part I may be faxed (toll-free) to 1-866-900-6417, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailed to PO Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.
Applicants (who may differ from the individual or entity that requested burial), must submit Part II of VA Form 40-10088 with the required reimbursement documentation to NCSO at the time of the burial request, OR to the VA national cemetery, or to the State or Tribal Veterans’ cemetery BEFORE the actual interment.
Required documentation for reimbursement purposes includes the following:
- Invoice or bill of sale showing model number and cost of casket or urn.
- Completed and signed FSC Vendor File Request Form (VA Form 10091) or previously assignedVendor ID.
CASKET AND URN STANDARDS (A VA National Cemetery official will verify that caskets and urns meet these standards at the interment):
A casket must be of at least 20-gauge metal (thickness), designed to contain human remains and include a gasketed seal and external fixed rails or swing arm handles.
An urn must be made of a durable material, such as plastic, wood, metal, or ceramic, designed to hold cremated human remains, and include a secure closure to contain the cremated remains.
For information on other benefits available to provide Unclaimed Veterans with a dignified burial please see the Unclaimed Veteran Remains Fact Sheet.