Is there funeral expense assistance available to a veteran's widow?

2 answers | Last updated: Oct 09, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

I'm trying to find out if my mom qualifies for widows help for a funeral because she used to be married to a vet and never remarried. She was getting money for being a widow?

Expert Answers

Rebekah Peoples, CFSP, CPC, Is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is passionate about serving others and believes that giving clients honest, accurate information empowers them to create tributes and services that are meaningful and appropriate. Her tips about funerals and life can be found at

This is a good question. Many times a spouse of a veteran is eligible for certain benefits during her life. Usually these are in the form of financial assistance with assisted living or nursing home costs.

The only funeral expense assistance for a veteran's widow is for a widow who is buried in a veteran's cemetery. Burial in a veterans cemetery includes these items free of charge, which saves a considerable amount of money: a grave, a burial vault, opening and closing of the grave, and a grave marker.

She is eligible to be buried in a national veterans cemetery whether her husband was buried there or not. State veterans cemeteries may have different guidelines. The Veterans Administration website has a plethora of good helpful information. If you wish to call them, their toll-free number is 1-800-827-1000.

Community Answers

Deb ulma in madison answered...

There is one incorrect piece of information in Rebekah's answer. My mom just recently died. Although my father was in the U.S. Navy before he died years ago, the VA said there would be no funds available for her burial since my father was buried in a Catholic cemetery rather than a veteran's cemetery. They said not only would he have had to be buried in a veteran's cemetery, but her burial there would have had to have been arranged at the same time and the space reserved.