One of the major goals of VA is to ensure that all former service members are able to be buried in a Veterans’ Cemetery close to home. Specifically, the VA has a department objective to ensure that at least 95% of the nation’s Veterans can be buried within a 75-mile radius of their home. Currently, the VA sits just shy of that target at 94%. Since the start of the program in 1978, the VA has helped provide more than 800,000 interment sites for U.S. Veterans. To reach its 95% goal, the VA needs roughly 200,000 more sites, largely in rural areas. However, constructing new VA facilities in these locations is not feasible from a labor or financial perspective.
Veterans buried in non-federal facilities receive the same burial and memorial benefits as those enshrined in VA national cemeteries. Those benefits include a gravesite; opening and closing of the grave; perpetual care of the site; a headstone or marker; burial flag; and certificate. The VA’s fiscal 2024 budget requests $835 million for the National Cemetery Administration, an increase of 7.5% from current levels. The proposed budget includes $60 million for the cemetery grant program, up from $50 million in fiscal 2023.
Without including the state, regional and tribal cemeteries, just 77% of the nation’s 16.5 million Veterans would have access to a VA cemetery within 75 miles of where they live. Updates are expected on this story in the coming months.
If you have any questions about VA benefits, the qualified Veterans’ Disability attorneys at Gardberg and Kemmerly want to help in any way possible. Gardberg and Kemmerly is committed to helping injured and disabled Veterans obtain the benefits they deserve. If you need help with a disability claim, call our office at 251-343-1111 or 1-800-332-1529 for a free consultation. Gardberg and Kemmerly is proud to serve Veterans across the country from our home office in Mobile, Alabama. We would love an opportunity to discuss your claim.