Reimbursement for Caskets and Urns
The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is updating the monetary reimbursement rates for caskets and urns purchased for interment in a VA national cemetery or a VA-funded state or tribal veterans' cemetery of veterans who die with no known next of kin and where there are insufficient resources for furnishing a burial container. These rates that will apply to reimbursement claims that occur during calendar year (CY) 2022.
Section 2306(f) of title 38, United States Code, authorizes VA's National Cemetery Administration to furnish a casket or urn for interment in a VA national cemetery or a VA-funded state or tribal veterans' cemetery of the unclaimed remains of veterans for whom VA cannot identify a next of kin, and determines that sufficient financial resources for the furnishing of a casket or urn for burial are not available.
In accordance with the regulation, reimbursement for a claim received in any CY will not exceed the average cost of a 20-gauge metal casket or a durable plastic urn during the fiscal year (FY) preceding the CY of the claim, as determined by VA.
Average costs are based on market price analysis and previous year actual reimbursements for 20-gauge metal caskets, designed to contain human remains, with a gasketed seal, and external rails or handles. The same analysis is completed for durable plastic urns, designed to contain human remains, which include a secure closure to contain the cremated remains.
Using this approach, in FY 2021, the average costs were determined to be $1,362.00 for caskets and $120.00 for urns. Accordingly, the maximum reimbursement rates payable for qualifying interments occurring during CY 2022 are $1,362.00 for caskets and $120.00 for urns.
2022 Allowance for Graveliners
Section 2306(e)(3) and (4) of title 38, United States Code, authorizes VA to provide a monetary allowance for the private purchase of an outer burial receptacle for use in a VA national cemetery where its use is authorized. The allowance for qualified interments that occur during CY 2022 is the average cost of Government-furnished graveliners in Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, less the administrative cost incurred by VA in processing and paying the allowance in lieu of the Government-furnished graveliner.
The average cost of Government-furnished graveliners is determined by taking VA's total cost during a fiscal year for single-depth graveliners that were procured for placement at the time of interment and dividing it by the total number of such graveliners procured by VA during that fiscal year. The calculation excludes both graveliners pre-placed in gravesites as part of cemetery gravesite development projects and all double-depth graveliners. Using this method of computation, the average cost was determined to be $371.00 for FY 2021.
The administrative cost is based on the costs incurred by VA during CY 2021 that relate to processing and paying an allowance in lieu of the Government-furnished graveliner. This cost has been determined to be $9.00.
The allowance payable for qualifying interments occurring during CY 2022, therefore, is $362.00.