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U*P*D*A*T*E -- 12/20/2016 --
By Veterans Affairs News, Veterans Affairs News / Published December 20, 2016
WASHINGTON (AFRNS) -- The Department of Veterans Affairs now provides eligibility determinations for interment in a VA national cemetery before an individual's death.
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.
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 via toll-free fax at 1-855-840-8299, email to Eligibility.PreNeed@va.gov or mail to National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.
Officials 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.
"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 the Secretary of Veterans Affairs Robert A. McDonald. "This new program reaffirms our commitment to providing a lifetime of benefits and services for veterans and their families."
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, on the internet at www.cem.va.gov, 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.