Burial Benefits

There are a number of burial benefits that a veteran may be entitled to as a result of his/her military service. Some of these benefits are listed below and are broken down into local, state, and federal categories. You can also download a quick-reference flyer.

Burial in Westport Veterans' cemetery:

Google map logo Eligible veterans and their spouse can be buried in the Veterans section of Beech Grove Cemetery if they meet ONE of the following criteria:

  • Must live in Westport at time of death; or
  • Veteran must have lived in Westport at time of enlistment.

There is no charge for plot for veteran or spouse, but certain fees must be paid. Plots cannot be reserved.

Only flat markers are permitted and non-veteran spouse must have their own marker as that will not be provided by the VA.

Only one marker per plot is permitted.

Burial in Massachusetts Veterans’ Cemeteries:

Massachusetts has state Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries located in Agawam and Winchendon. There is no fee for a veteran’s burial in a state veterans’ memorial cemetery. A nominal fee will be charged for the burial of spouses, widows/widowers, and qualified dependents.

Eligibility for Veterans: With the exception of a residency requirement, the Massachusetts Veterans’ Memorial Cemeteries follow the military eligibility requirements set forth by the National Cemetery Administration:

Military Service:

  • Veteran was discharged or released from active duty service under honorable conditions; or
  • Veteran served at least 20 years in the National Guard or United States Reserve and is in receipt of a military pension or has documentation verifying he/she will receive retirement pay at age 60, in accordance with Title 10, Chapter 1223, of the United States Code; or
  • Any member of the armed forces of the United States who dies on active duty and whose home of record is Massachusetts; or
  • With certain exceptions, service beginning after September 7, 1980, as an enlisted person, and service after October 16, 1981, as an officer, must be for a minimum of 24 months OR the full period for which the person was called to active duty (examples include those serving less than 24 months in the Gulf War or Reservists who were federalized by Presidential Recall).


  • Veteran’s home of record on his/her DD-214 or other discharge form indicates that he/she was a resident of Massachusetts at the time he/she entered into active military service; or
  • Veteran resided in a state other than Massachusetts when he/she entered military service and resided in Massachusetts at least one day after discharge from active duty; or
  • Veteran was a resident of Massachusetts at the time of his/her death.

State Burial Allowance Eligibility:

A veterans’ agent shall grant a special allowance for the burial of veterans and adult dependents of veterans who die without sufficient means to defray the funeral expenses, and for the burial of dependent children of a veteran if the veteran and his or her spouse, or his or her surviving spouse alone, do not have sufficient means to defray funeral expenses. The veteran in whose name the burial allowance is sought shall have satisfied military service requirements.

In addition to the veteran in whose name burial allowances are sought, an allowance also shall be granted for the burial of the following persons:

  • A person who served in the Massachusetts State Guard established during World War II and was honorably discharged from such service; and
  • Who died without sufficient means to defray funeral expenses. An allowance shall not be granted for the burial of dependents of these persons.

A veterans’ agent shall not grant a burial allowance to or for the following persons:

  • A person designated on his or her discharge papers as a conscientious objector
  • A person who at the time of entering the federal service was a subject or citizen of a neutral country, who had filed to become a citizen of the United States and who afterward withdrew such intention under the act of congress approved July 9, 1918.

A veterans’ agent shall grant a burial allowance only if the total cost of the burial does not exceed certain limits, and any and all resources have been utilized to defray the cost of the burial.

Federal Burial Benefits and Memorial Items:

VA burial benefits can provide a burial and plot allowance to help pay for the burial or memorial service of qualifying veterans. The veteran must be receiving a monetary benefit from the VA, i.e., disability compensation or pension or was receiving military retired pay in lieu of disability compensation or pension; OR must have died as a result of a service-connected condition; OR was getting care at a VA facility or VA-contracted facility; OR was traveling with proper authorization and at VA expense either to or from a facility for an examination or to receive treatment.

While planning a burial for a veteran or Reservist, you can apply for certain memorial items, including a headstone, marker, or medallion and a Presidential Memorial Certificate to honor their military service. An eligible spouse or other family member buried in a national cemetery, or certain other veterans or military cemeteries, may also qualify for a headstone or marker to identify the place of burial.

Massachusetts' National Cemetery is located in Bourne on Cape Cod. The telephone number is (508) 563-7113.