WASHINGTON — New burial regulations now allow the Department of Veterans Affairs to automatically pay the maximum amount allowable under law to most eligible surviving spouses, without need for a written application.
The VA can pay a burial allowance to an estimated 62,000 eligible surviving spouses out of a projected 140,000 claimants for burial benefits in 2014. Surviving spouses will be paid upon notice of the veteran’s death using information in VA systems.
The burial allowance for a non-service-connected death is $300; it's $2,000 for a death connected to military service.
Under former regulations, VA paid burial benefits on a reimbursement basis, which required survivors to submit receipts for relatively small one-time payments that VA generally paid at the maximum amount permitted by law.