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Pre-need Eligibility Determination for Burial in a VA National Cemetery

You can apply to find out in advance if you can be buried in a VA national cemetery. This is called a pre-need determination of eligibility—and it can help make the burial planning process easier for your family members in their time of need. Follow the steps below to apply.

Please note: “Pre-need” means before the time of need. This application is for planning for your own burial in advance. Please don’t complete this form if you’re requesting burial at the time of need.
Find out how to plan a burial.

How do I prepare before starting my application?

  1. Make sure one of these describes you:

    • A Servicemember on active duty, or
    • A Veteran who didn’t receive a dishonorable discharge when you separated from the military, or
    • The spouse or dependent child of a Servicemember or Veteran, even if the Servicemember or Veteran has already passed away, or
    • In some cases, the adult dependent child of a Servicemember or Veteran (if you aren’t married)
  2. Choose the VA national cemetery where you’d prefer to be buried.

    Find a VA national cemetery.

    Please note:

    • This application is only for national cemeteries. If you’d like to be buried in a state or tribal Veterans cemetery, check the site you want ahead of time. Some state Veterans cemeteries require that you live in that state or have other rules around eligibility.
      Find a state Veterans cemetery.

    • This application doesn’t apply to Arlington National Cemetery or the United States Soldiers and Airmen’s Home National Cemetery. If you’d like to be buried in either of these Department of the Army cemeteries, please call 1-877-907-8585, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (ET), and Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (ET).

    • Getting a pre-need determination of eligibility doesn’t guarantee you’ll be buried in a specific VA national cemetery. We ask you where you’d preferred to be buried so we can try to help fulfill your final wishes. But, when we receive a request for burial from the person handling your burial arrangements, we’ll assign a gravesite in a cemetery with available space at the time of need.

  3. Gather the supporting documents and information you’ll need to fill out the application.

    Please see the list below. If you don’t have everything on the list, you can still apply and we’ll help by finding the supporting documents we need. Just keep in mind that the more information you can give us when you apply, the faster we can review your application and give you a decision.

  4. Be sure to fill out an application for each person requesting a pre-need eligibility determination.

    If both you and your spouse are applying, you’ll each need to fill out your own application.

What documents and information do I need to apply?

We base our decision of whether or not you qualify for burial in a VA national cemetery on your service history—or the service history of the Veteran or Servicemember who’s sponsoring your application for burial as a spouse, surviving spouse, or unmarried adult child.

To apply, you’ll need your (or your sponsor’s):

  • Social Security number
  • Date and place of birth
  • Military status and service history (like service dates, discharge character, and rank—commonly found on the DD214 or other separation documents)
  • Discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)

More information needed for certain applicants

  • If you’re applying as a spouse, surviving spouse, or unmarried adult child, you’ll also need your personal information, including your Social Security number.
  • If you’re applying on behalf of someone else, you’ll also need supporting documents showing you have the authority to apply for that person.
  • If you’re applying for an unmarried adult child of a Veteran or Servicemember, you’ll also need to provide supporting documents with information about the child’s disability.

How do I apply?

You can apply online right now.

Apply for pre-need eligibility

You can also apply:

By mail

Apply by mail using an Application for Pre-need Determination of Eligibility for Burial in a VA National Cemetery (VA Form 40-10007).
Download VA Form 40-10007.

Print the form, fill it out, and send it (with copies of your supporting documents) to:

National Cemetery Scheduling Office
PO Box 510543
St. Louis, MO 63151

Please don’t send us the originals of your DD214 and other supporting documents since we can’t return them. Send copies only.

By fax

You can also fax your application to us at 1-855-840-8299.

What if I need help filling out my application?

Call our toll-free hotline at 1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET).

Get help from an accredited representative (a trained professional trusted to help with VA-related claims).
Find a representative.
Find your state’s Veterans agency.

What happens after I apply?

Find out what happens after you apply for a pre-need eligibility determination.

Note: We’ve received a large number of pre-need eligibility applications, and it’s slowing down our approval process. We’ll let you know when we’ve received your application and how long we think it’ll take to make a decision. We’re sorry for the delay.

For more information, you can call 1-877-222-VETS (1-877-222-8387), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (ET). Please wait to hear back about your application rather than applying again.