Many individuals would like to know, in advance, whether they are eligible for burial in a VA national cemetery. To assist them, the VA has created the “Pre-Need Eligibility Determination Program,” specifically aimed at helping individuals with burial planning and making sure their wishes are known.
The VA Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility Program can greatly reduce stress on surviving family members in trying times..
Requesting Burial In A National Cemetery
To apply for pre-need determination veterans should complete and submit a VA Form 40-10007 – Application for Pre-Need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery, along with copies of supporting documentation, such as a DD Form 214. The documents should be sent to the VA National Cemetery Scheduling Office at: toll-free fax at 855-840-8299; email to Eligibility.PreNeed@va.gov; or mail to the National Cemetery Scheduling Office, P.O. Box 510543, St. Louis, MO 63151.
Applicants may indicate a preference for a VA national cemetery on the application form, but a pre-need determination of eligibility does not guarantee burial in a specific VA national cemetery or a specific gravesite. VA assigns gravesites in cemeteries with available space once death has occurred and the burial is scheduled.
What to Expect After Applying
VA will review pre-need burial applications and provide written notice of a determination of eligibility (a decision letter). VA will save the information electronically for future reference and to expedite processing burial claims at the time of need.
You should save a copy of all documents submitted and the decision letter received. It is also a good idea to communicate with one’s loved ones or estate planners where the documents are, and about the preference to be buried in a VA national cemetery.
At the time of need, the next-of-kin, funeral home or other representative responsible for making final arrangements should contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office at 800-535-1117 to request burial.
If the veteran didn’t complete a “pre-need determination” request prior to death, survivors or funeral directors can request burial in a National Cemetery by faxing eligibility documentation to 866-900-6417 or scanning and emailing the information to NCA.Scheduling@va.gov, survivors or funeral directors can also call the VA at 800-535-1117.