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There’s a forthright, direct process in place for military veterans who desire to make their final resting place in one of the nation’s bucolic, thoroughly-maintained cemeteries — a VA national cemetery.
The key to securing a plot is called “pre-need eligibility determination” — something that can only be exercised, though, before death (for veterans who have already passed, please refer to this process here).
Also, this process is not for burial at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia or the United States Soldiers and Airmen Home National Cemetery just across the Potomac in Washington, D.C. For more information on how to apply at these locations, call 1-800-907-8585. Pre-need eligibility determination is also not used to apply for burial at a state or Tribal vets cemetery — click here for more information on their protocol and locations.
Applying for Eligibility
If you’re a service member still on active-duty, a veteran, or a spouse or dependent of a veteran, you can apply for pre-need eligibility determination. Just know you’ll need the following before you start the application process: social security number, date and place of birth, DD214 and any other separation documents.
To apply, click here and download the necessary form (VA Form 40-10007) — on the page under where it says “Ready to Apply?“.
Please note that while the application asks to specify which cemetery, even with a pre-need eligibility determination, location is not guaranteed and is ultimately based on available space.
If after applying it’s been 90 days and you haven’t heard back about the status of your application, call this number: 1-877-222-8387.