Congresswoman Shelley Berkley today unveiled new comprehensive legislation to update burial benefits for America's veterans and their families. The Veterans' Burial Benefits Improvement Act (H.R.5833) increases payments to veterans and families to help offset final expenses for those who served in America's armed forces.
"America's veterans earned these burial benefits through their service to our nation. Unfortunately, the burial benefits we promised our veterans have not kept pace with rising costs and many families and states are left to cover this added expense," said Berkley. "My bill increases the amount paid to veterans and families to help cover funeral or burial expenses and it restores the allowance for a gravestone or marker so that our vets can choose to be laid to rest with full recognition of their military service."
Veterans are currently entitled to benefits that help cover the cost of burial plots, caskets and other funeral expenses. Over time, the value of these benefits has seriously eroded due to inflation, leaving states and families to supplement the cost. Berkley's Veterans' Burial Benefits Improvement Act seeks to update the amount provided to veterans and families to help them cover funeral expenses, while also restoring an allowance to offset the cost of providing veterans with a headstone or funeral marker to denote their military service.
The Veterans' Burial Benefits Improvement Act
Restores the marker allowance and restores the plot allowance to any war veteran who has been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, as was the case when they were initiated;
Increases the Department of Veterans Affairs plot allowance from $700 to $800 for veterans who are buried in a state veterans' cemetery or a private cemetery;
Increases the burial allowance from $2,000 to $4,000 for veterans who die as a result of service-connected injuries;
Increases the burial allowance from $300 to $3,000 for veterans whose death is not related to military service;
Increases the burial allowance from $700 to $3,000 for veterans whose death is not related to military service who die while in the VA's care.