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M21-1MR, Part VII, Chapter 5, Section C


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M21-1MR, Part VII, Chapter 5, Section C

Section C. Headstones and Markers

Overview




In this Section

This section contains the following topics:




Topic

Topic Name

See Page

4

General Information about Government Headstones and Markers

5-C-2

5

General Information about Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers

5-C-7

6

Processing Claims for Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers

5-C-9


4. General Information about Government Headstones and Markers



Introduction

This topic contains information on government headstones and markers, including


  • who is eligible

  • who is not eligible

  • death before November 1, 1990

  • death on or after November 1, 1990

  • furnishing a memorial headstone or marker when there is no grave

  • costs associated with transportation and placement

  • required application, and

  • address for referral of requests.


Change Date

November 30, 2010

Continued on next page
4. General Information about Government Headstones and Markers, Continued

a. Who Is Eligible

To be eligible for memorialization by a Government headstone or marker, a Veteran must be


  • buried in a national, State-owned, or post cemetery, or

  • eligible for burial in a national cemetery but not buried there, provided the Veteran

  • meets the length of service requirements as established by Public Law (PL) 96-342, or

  • died while on active military, naval, or air service, or

  • was a member of the Reserve Officer Training Corps of the Army, Navy, or Air Force, whose death occurred while attending or on authorized travel to a training camp or practice cruise, or while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease incurred during an authorized training camp or practice cruise

  • was a member of the Reserve component of the Armed Forces or the Army National Guard, whose death occurred while hospitalized or undergoing treatment at the expense of the United States for injury or disease contracted or incurred under honorable conditions while performing active duty for training or inactive duty training

  • was a member of specifically designated groups recognized as Veterans as a result of 1977 legislation allowing the Department of Defense to grant military discharges for certain wartime service previously considered civilian, or

  • was a soldier of the Union and Confederate Armies of the Civil War.

Continued on next page

4. General Information about Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


b. Who Is Not Eligible

Any individual convicted after September 1, 1959, of any of a list of offenses involving subversive activities will forfeit the right to VA gratuitous benefits. PL 108-183, effective for claims filed after December 16, 2003, further expanded the list of offenses. For more information on offenses involving subversive activities, see 38 CFR §3.903 and M21-1MR, Part III, Subpart vi, 5.B.5.c.
For death on or after December 6, 2002, under PL 107-330, eligibility is precluded for anyone


  • convicted of a Federal capital crime for which that person was sentenced to death or life imprisonment

  • convicted of a State capital crime for which that person was sentenced to death or life imprisonment without parole

  • found to have committed a Federal or State capital crime but has not been convicted by reason of being unavailable for trial due to death or flight to avoid prosecution.


Note: In cases of conviction, the prohibitions do not apply unless written notice of conviction is received prior to approval of the application for Government headstone or marker. Such notice shall be furnished by the Attorney General, in cases of Federal capital crimes, and the appropriate State official in cases of State capital crimes.


c. Death Before November 1, 1990

For Veterans’ deaths occurring before November 1, 1990, Government headstones or markers are furnished for unmarked graves only.

Continued on next page

4. General Information about Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


d. Death on or After November 1, 1990

Under PL 110-157, which amends PL 107-330, government headstones or markers may also be furnished if the Veteran died on or after November 1, 1990, regardless of whether the grave is already marked with a headstone or marker purchased at private expense.




e. Furnishing a Memorial Headstone or Marker When There Is No Grave

A memorial headstone or marker, if requested, is furnished for placement by the applicant in any national, private or local cemetery to commemorate any Veteran whose remains


  • have not been recovered or identified, or

  • were

  • buried at sea, or

  • donated to medical science, or

  • cremated and the remains scattered.

Continued on next page

4. General Information about Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


f. Costs Associated with Transportation and Placement

The government prepays shipping charges to the extent indicated on VA Form 40-1330.
The government does not cover the following costs:


  • transportation of the headstone from the consignee’s address to the private cemetery, or

  • erection of the headstone at the grave.


g. Required Application

A claim for a standard government headstone or marker for installation in a private or local cemetery is made on VA Form 40-1330, Application for Standard Government Headstone or Marker.


h. Address for Referral of Requests

Refer requests for a government headstone or marker to the following address:
Memorial Programs Service (41A1)

Department of Veterans Affairs

5109 Russell Road

Quantico, VA 22134-3903




5. General Information about Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers



Introduction

This topic contains information on reimbursement for non-government headstones, including


  • eligibility requirements for non-government headstones and markers

  • reimbursement for service recognized under PL 95-202

  • required application for headstone reimbursement, and

  • eligible claimants for non-government headstones.


Change Date

November 30, 2010



a. Eligibility Requirements for Non-Government Headstones and Markers

To be eligible for reimbursement of a non-government headstone or marker, a Veteran must


  • have been buried on or after October 18, 1978

  • have died prior to November 1, 1990, and

  • have been otherwise entitled to a Government headstone or marker.


Exception: Veterans buried in a State-owned Veterans or post cemetery or soldiers of the Union or Confederate Armies are not eligible.
Notes:

  • The deceased’s grave or memorial site must not have been previously marked for the deceased.

  • The headstone or marker must have been privately purchased for placement in a non-national cemetery.

Continued on next page

5. General Information about Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


b. Reimbursement for Service Recognized under PL 95-202

Award reimbursement for a non-government headstone or marker can be made for:

  • a Veteran who died before his/her service was recognized under PL 95-202, if

    • he/she was buried on or after October 18, 1978, the date of enactment of the law providing for payment of the headstone or marker benefit, and

    • died prior to October 31, 1990.


Reference: For more information on the amount payable, see M21-1MR, Part VII, 5.C.6.c.





c. Required Application for Headstone Reimbursement

A claim for a non-government headstone or marker for reimbursement is made on VA Form 21-8834, Application for Reimbursement of Headstone or Marker Expenses.


d. Eligible Claimants for Non-Government Headstones

Any person, including the executor, administrator, or a person representing the deceased’s estate, who purchased the headstone or marker or who paid for the additional engraving on an existing headstone or marker may file a claim.


6. Processing Claims for Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers



Introduction

This topic contains information on processing nongovernment marker claims, including


  • required evidence for reimbursement of marker expenses

  • time limit for headstone reimbursement

  • the amount payable for nongovernment markers

  • priority of payment, and

  • reimbursement

  • for prepaid headstones or markers, and

  • when no administrator or executor exists.


Change Date

November 30, 2010



a. Required Evidence for Reimbursement of Marker Expenses

Before award action can be taken, a receipted bill is required showing


  • the name of the deceased Veteran for whom the headstone, marker, or additional engraving was purchased,

  • a description of the nature and cost of the merchandise or services

  • the name of the persons who made payment, and

  • the amount of any unpaid balance.


Important:

  • Do not accept an affidavit or other statement by the claimant purporting to show payment in lieu of a receipted bill.

  • Retain all evidence received in connection with the claim and do not return receipts submitted in support of it.


b. Time Limit for Headstone Reimbursement

There is no time limit for applying for reimbursement for a non-government headstone or marker.

Continued on next page

6. Processing Claims for Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


c. Amount Payable for Nongovernment Markers

The amount of reimbursement will be the lesser of the


  • actual cost of the non-government headstone, marker, or additional engraving, or

  • amount determined by the VA National Cemetery Administration to be in effect at the time of purchase.


Note: This determination is made at the end of each fiscal year and is based on the average cost of government-procured headstones and markers during that period.
Entitlement to both a government headstone and reimbursement for a non-government headstone does not exist.


d. Priority of Payment

In most situations, the first claim for reimbursement accompanied by a receipted bill will take precedence over any other claim for reimbursement.
Reference: For more information on procedures for reimbursement claimed by more than one person who has paid for a privately purchased headstone, marker, or additional engraving, see M21-1 MR, Part VII, 1.D.11.

Continued on next page

6. Processing Claims for Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


e. Reimbursement for Prepaid Headstones or Markers

Use the table below to determine reimbursement for prepaid headstones or markers.
Reference: For more information on procedures for making payment to the deceased Veteran’s estate, see M21-1 MR, Part VII, 1.D.14.




If the headstone or marker was purchased before the Veteran’s death and …

Then …

burial occurred before December 18, 1989

limit the payment to reimbursement of the expense of engraving added to the headstone subsequent to the Veteran’s death.
Note: There is no entitlement to reimbursement for the cost of the headstone in such cases.

burial occurred on or after December 18, 1989

pay the monetary allowance for acquiring a non-government headstone or marker to the estate of the deceased Veteran.
Note: The allowance is not payable if the

  • Veteran died after October 31, 1990, or

  • headstone or marker was purchased prior to October 18, 1978, the date the law providing payment for a headstone or marker was enacted.

Continued on next page

6. Processing Claims for Reimbursement for Non-Government Headstones and Markers, Continued


f. Reimbursement When No Administrator or Executor Exists

If there is no administrator or executor, make payment to a claimant who


  • signs a statement attesting to this fact, and

  • indicates that he/she will distribute the payment under the laws of the State of the decedent’s domicile.


Note: The procedures for identifying unpaid creditors do not apply to reimbursement for headstone or marker expenses.



5-C-


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