Schedule a Burial
Gravesites in Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) national cemeteries cannot be reserved in advance.
You should advise your family of your wishes and where your discharge papers* are kept. These papers are very important in establishing your eligibility. Upon request, VA will make eligibility determinations for burial in a VA national cemetery in advance of need.
At the time of need your family would contact a funeral home who will assist them with making burial arrangements at the national cemetery. You may wish to make pre-need arrangements with a funeral home.
February 2018 Update
The Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration realizes that in the past month it has become increasingly difficult to get through to our scheduling office to receive eligibility determinations and to schedule burials. It is our intent to provide the highest quality of customer service that Veterans and their families deserve. We apologize for any delays you experience as we actively work to improve this service.
To be more responsive to our customers, the National Cemetery Administration is taking immediate action to address this issue. These interim measures will be used until we restore our normal response time to all your calls. Please continue to call the national scheduling office phone number (1-800-535-1117) to schedule interments.
We are working diligently to correct this situation. We will provide updates as soon as possible and we appreciate your patience.
To schedule a burial in all Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemeteries, please contact the National Cemetery Scheduling Office by following the instructions listed below:
Step 1: Submit Eligibility Documentation
Step 1: Fax to 1-866-900-6417 or Scan and Email to NCA.Scheduling@va.gov
Fax Eligibility Documentation to 1-866-900-6417 or Scan and Email to NCA.Scheduling@va.gov.
It is important to have all eligibility documentation available prior to calling the Scheduling Office. Burial in a national cemetery is based on military service. A copy of an official military discharge document bearing an official seal or other supporting documentation is usually sufficient to determine eligibility for burial. The document must show release from service was under conditions other than dishonorable. Discharge documentation is not usually needed for scheduling when a Veteran or eligible dependent is already interred in a national cemetery.
If you have no eligibility documentation...
Scheduling Office agents will assist you with the verification process. Requests for eligibility determination when no military discharge documents are available may require 48 hours or more for verification. Scheduling Office personnel will contact you within 48 hours of the initial process with verification results or an explanation of the delay.
Step 2: Call 1-800-535-1117
Step 2: Call 1-800-535-1117
To assist you, please have the following information readily available:
- Cemetery of choice
- First or subsequent burial (Veteran or dependent already buried)
- If subsequent interment, who is already interred, section and site number (if known)
- Decedent's full name, gender, SSN, date of death, date of birth and relationship (Veteran or dependent)
- Contact Info (funeral director's name as well as the name, address, and E-mail address of the funeral home)
- Next of kin information (name, relationship to deceased, SSN, phone number, address)
- Type of religious emblem for headstone (if known)
- Did the decedent reside within 75 miles of requested cemetery?
- ZIP code of decedent at time of death
- County of decedent at time of death
- Type of burial (casket or cremation)
- Marital status of deceased (if Veteran is buried in a private cemetery, must provide documentation of marital status of spouse at time of death)
- Casket size/liner size/urn size/urn vault size
- Is surviving spouse a Veteran?
- Any disabled children for future interment (must provide name and date of birth). If requesting immediate interment (must provide marital status, doctor's statement stating type of illness, date of onset of illness and capability of self-support).
- Military Honors requested
Scheduling Office Hours
The National Cemetery Scheduling Office is open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Central Time. The Scheduling Office is closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. Interments at national cemeteries are conducted Monday thru Friday. When a federal holiday falls on a Monday or Friday, cemeteries will open for interments for one day over the holiday weekend as a service to Veterans and their families. The Scheduling Office will have the most current schedule of available interment times for each cemetery.
When do I contact the National Cemetery directly?
There are instances when you should contact a national cemetery directly for scheduling support. They are:
- Active duty interment scheduling
- Interment cancellation or rescheduling
- Change to information initially provided to Scheduling Office
- Request for disinterment and/or relocation to another national cemetery
- Information pertaining to headstones, floral policy, hours of operation or other items unique to that cemetery.
Information gathered will only be used to determine eligibility and the National Cemetery Administration will, as needed, only disclose Personal Identifying Information to Department of Defense entities to determine eligibility for the coordination and conducting of interment honor ceremonies. The National Cemetery Administration will not give, sell or transfer any personal information outside the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense.
* Link will take you outside the VA web site.