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National Cemetery Administration

Legislative Changes Concerning Eligibility for Headstones, Markers and Medallions

Public Law 110-157, signed on Dec. 26, 2007, allows the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to furnish a Government headstone or marker for the graves of eligible Veterans who died on or after Nov. 1, 1990, regardless of whether the grave is already marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. Under the previous law, when the grave was already marked, only Veterans who died on or after Sept. 11, 2001 were eligible.

Public Law 110-157, also gives VA authority to "furnish, upon request, a medallion or other device of a design determined by the Secretary to signify the deceased's status as a Veteran, to be attached to a headstone or marker furnished at private expense." This benefit is available in lieu of a Government furnished headstone or marker, for Veterans in privately marked graves who died on or after Nov. 1, 1990.

To order a medallion claimants should use the form, VA 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion for Placement in a Private Cemetery.

Important: Eligible Veterans are entitled to either a Government-furnished headstone or marker, or the new medallion, but not both.

There is no change in eligibility for Veterans in unmarked graves: Regardless of the date of death, VA will furnish, at no charge to the applicant, a Government headstone or marker for the unmarked grave of any eligible Veteran in any cemetery around the world.

Note: There is no charge for the headstone or marker itself, however arrangements for placing it in a private cemetery are the applicant’s responsibility and all setting fees are at private expense.