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National Cemetery Administration

How to Complete VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker

  • Block 3 is to let us know if the Veteran's grave is unmarked or if it is already marked with a privately purchased headstone or marker. For deaths occurring on or after Nov. 1, 1990, a government marker may be furnished for the grave of any eligible Veteran regardless of whether the grave is already marked with a private marker. (When the grave is already marked, eligible Veterans are entitled to either a traditional headstone or marker or medallion. To apply for a medallion, please complete VA Form 40-1330M, Claim for Government Medallion.)
  • Shaded areas in block 5a and b and in blocks 7, 9, 10, and 12 indicate optional inscription information items. If you do not wish this information to be inscribed select “None” in the appropriate area, or leave the block blank.
  • Block 6 is for the Veteran’s periods of active military duty. Use block 27 for additional information.
  • Block 8 is for the Veteran’s branch of military service. If the branch of service is not shown, select the box for “other” and write in the appropriate branch, i.e. WAAC or Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps; WASP or Women Air Force SVC Pilots, etc.
  • Block 9 pertains to certain Valor and Achievement Awards or the Purple Heart. Documentation proving receipt of the awards must be provided with the claim. If you do not have documentation of these awards, you may write to the National Personnel Records Center, Military Personnel Records, 9700 Page Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63132. These awards will be inscribed at Government expense, if desired. If not desired, leave block 9 blank.
  • Block 11 identifies the type of headstone or marker you would like. The second page of the application instructions has photographs of the types of headstones and markers available. Some cemeteries only accept a certain type of headstone or marker. Please check with the cemetery before filling out this block to see what type is accepted. Make sure only ONE box is checked.
  • Block 12 indicates the emblem of belief desired. If not desired, please check "None". The authorized emblems of belief are listed on the back of the form with a picture of 20 representative emblems; pictures of all others may be viewed on our website at www.cem.va.gov/hmm/emblems.asp.
  • Block 13, 14, 15, and 16 identify the person who is preparing the claim. The claim must be submitted by the Next of Kin (specify relationship), or by an Authorized Representative on behalf of the Decedent (include written authorization), or by an Authorized Representative on behalf of the Next of Kin (include written authorization). This information must be provided. In case there is any illegible, missing or conflicting information on the claim, we will need to contact you to obtain complete and correct information. The headstone or marker request will be delayed or suspended if we cannot reach you by telephone, fax, or e-mail.
  • Block 17 is for the signature of the person listed in block 13a, certifying the information about the deceased Veteran is correct. This signature also certifies that the next of kin, or the claimant, is aware that the Government is not authorized to pay the cost of installing the marker in private cemeteries.
  • Block 19 requires the name and address of the organization or official who will accept the prepaid delivery of the headstone or marker (consignee), usually the cemetery or funeral home. A street address is required, as deliveries cannot be made to post office boxes.
  • Block 20 is the telephone number of the person (consignee) accepting delivery of the headstone or marker. This information is mandatory. If for any reason the address is not complete, or if there are any questions, the headstone or marker will not be shipped until the address has been confirmed. If there is no telephone number, written confirmation will be required which will cause delays. Also, commercial trucking companies may need this number for detailed delivery information.
  • Block 21 is the name and address of the cemetery where the headstone or marker will be placed. If this information is the same as block 19, repeat it or write, "See block 19."
  • Block 22 is for the signature of the person accepting delivery (consignee). This block must be signed. Without a signature, the headstone or marker will not be furnished.
  • Block 24 is for the signature of the cemetery official of the place of burial. This signature also verifies the type of headstone or marker ordered is appropriate for the gravesite. Entries of "None", "NA", or nothing entered in this block cannot be accepted.
  • Block 28 must be completed if the remains have not been buried. An explanation is required in block 27, i.e., cremated and ashes scattered, buried at sea, or donated to science.
  • Block 29 only applies if the decedent is to be buried in a state Veterans' cemetery. If this applies, the cemetery will complete these blocks and submit the claim. If this does not apply, leave blank. Section, grave number, or any other information identifying the location of a grave cannot be inscribed on markers placed in private cemeteries.
  • Be sure to read the General Information Sheet attached to VA Form 40-1330, Claim for Standard Government Headstone or Marker, for additional information and guidance. After completing the application, please check carefully to be sure that you have accurately furnished all required information to avoid delays in processing the claim and in marking the gravesite. Government-furnished headstones and markers remain the property of the United States Government and cannot be used for any purpose other than to mark the grave and honor the memory of the decedent for whom the headstone or marker is furnished.