Does The VA Pay For Cremation?

By: Tom Gallagher
Monday, January 16, 2023

Veterans make sacrifices when they enlist, and the Canadian government acknowledges this. As a result, there is a provision for veterans' funeral benefits in place to lessen the financial burden of loss for military members when they pass away. At Nutmeg State Cremation Society, we get several queries about Veteran's funeral and cremation benefits. So our team has put together this information for you regarding this topic.

Veterans Funeral/Cremation Benefit Program

When veterans pass away while in service, the program includes assistance with funeral costs. The Last Post Fund, a nonprofit organization, runs this program. The Last Post Fund's mission is to offer funeral and grave marker services to all soldiers from Canada and its allies. Some of the advantages of the initiative are listed below.

Canadian Military Funeral, Cremation, And Burial Program

This program aims to guarantee that all qualified veterans get respectable funeral or cremation services. Veterans Affairs Canada has delegated management of this program to The Last Post Fund. Veterans must complete several requirements before they are immediately eligible for the program's benefits. The conditions that veterans must fulfill include the following:

The Service Criterion

Only those who successfully completed basic training and received honorable discharges are considered veterans under this criterion. Before becoming qualified for bereavement benefits, people must complete this service obligation. Those who participated in World War II (as members of an allied force) are also honored for their service and are eligible for burial, cremation, and funeral benefits. Canadian Merchant Veterans of World War II or the Korean War are recognized as members who qualify for the benefits under the criterion.

Financial Criteria

Before being eligible for the financial criterion, veterans must first meet the service criterion. The latter provides eligibility for burial payments in two different ways. These criteria are the 'matter of right' standard and the financial means test. If additional funds are required to cover the Veteran's funeral costs, it will depend on their financial situation. The test evaluates the Veteran's estate, which considers the Veteran's net worth, number of dependents, and marital status. A veteran is eligible if their entire estate is insufficient to cover their current obligations, including funeral, cremation, and burial costs.

As a matter of right, the process for assessing eligibility must be carried out by Veteran Affairs Canada alone. If VA had awarded a disability payment for military service, a medical authority evaluates whether the death was related to that service. If so, the Veteran will be eligible for the funeral, cremation, and burial benefits without passing a financial means test.

What Cremation Benefits Are Provided Through The Last Post Fund

Cremation and burial services under the Last Post Fund include the following:

  • The Funeral Director’s services (the family can choose these where applicable)
  • A quality natural wood casket conforming to particular specifications
  • Some transportation expenses
  • Cremation, an urn/interment in other than the cemetery plot (if preferred)

Also covered are some costs related to the following:

  • One cemetery plot, its opening and closing
  • A grave liner if the cemetery by-laws demand it

An inscribed grave marker (to specific Standards) and its installation are available, provided a Departmental funeral/cremation or burial grant has been awarded.

Note- Check the latest maximum amount eligible for cremation and burial services for veterans on the Last Post website.

Cost-Effective Funeral Services

It is crucial to get in touch with a Branch official/representative at the Last Post Fund office as soon as possible, before finalizing any funeral or cremation arrangements with a Funeral Director/crematory when a person dies for a veteran eligible for these benefits. This can be done by phone or in person.

We are committed to offering our clients value. That value comes from providing accurate information about our services and helping them make informed decisions about what works for them. We simplify the cremation planning process for mourning families. We offer complete support and packages, ensuring you can honor your loved one's memory on your terms.

You can drop us a line via this online form, and one of our team members will call you back to answer questions and discuss your cremation service requirements. For more details about VA payments for cremation, please call Nutmeg State Cremation Society at 203-348-0443. We are here to help you understand what's involved in cremation, the costs, and other details.

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