38 U.S.C.
United States Code, 2011 Edition
Title 38 - VETERANS’ BENEFITS
PART II - GENERAL BENEFITS
CHAPTER 23 - BURIAL BENEFITS
Sec. 2302 - Funeral expenses
From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov

§2302. Funeral expenses

(a) In the case of a deceased veteran—

(1) who at the time of death was in receipt of compensation (or but for the receipt of retirement pay would have been entitled to compensation) or was in receipt of pension, or

(2) who was a veteran of any war or was discharged or released from the active military, naval, or air service for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, whose body is held by a State (or a political subdivision of a State), and with respect to whom the Secretary determines—

(A) that there is no next of kin or other person claiming the body of the deceased veteran, and

(B) that there are not available sufficient resources to cover burial and funeral expenses,


the Secretary, in the Secretary's discretion, having due regard to the circumstances in each case, may pay a sum not exceeding $300 to such person as the Secretary prescribes to cover the burial and funeral expenses of the deceased veteran and the expense of preparing the body and transporting it to the place of burial. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “veteran” includes a person who died during a period deemed to be active military, naval, or air service under section 106(c) of this title.

(b) Except as hereafter provided in this subsection, no deduction shall be made from the burial allowance because of the veteran's net assets at the time of the death of such veteran, or because of any contribution from any source toward the burial and funeral expenses (including transportation) unless the amount of expenses incurred is covered by the amount actually paid therefor by the United States, a State, any agency or political subdivision of the United States or of a State, or the employer of the deceased veteran. No claim shall be allowed (1) for more than the difference between the entire amount of the expenses incurred and the amount paid by any or all of the foregoing, or (2) when the burial allowance would revert to the funds of a public or private organization or would discharge such an organization's obligation without payment. The burial allowance or any part thereof shall not be paid in any case where specific provision is otherwise made for payment of expenses of funeral, transportation, and interment under any other Act.

(Pub. L. 85–857, Sept. 2, 1958, 72 Stat. 1169, §902; Pub. L. 88–359, July 7, 1964, 78 Stat. 296; Pub. L. 89–360, Mar. 7, 1966, 80 Stat. 29; Pub. L. 95–476, title II, §203(b), Oct. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 1506; Pub. L. 95–479, title III, §303(a), Oct. 18, 1978, 92 Stat. 1565; Pub. L. 97–35, title XX, §2001(a)(1), Aug. 13, 1981, 95 Stat. 781; Pub. L. 97–306, title IV, §403[(a)], Oct. 14, 1982, 96 Stat. 1443; Pub. L. 101–237, title III, §313(b)(1), Dec. 18, 1989, 103 Stat. 2077; renumbered §2302, Pub. L. 102–83, §5(a), Aug. 6, 1991, 105 Stat. 406.)

Amendments

1991—Pub. L. 102–83 renumbered section 902 of this title as this section.

1989—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 101–237 substituted “Secretary” and “Secretary's” for “Administrator” and “Administrator's”, respectively, wherever appearing.

1982—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–306 substituted requirement of a deceased veteran who at the time of death was in receipt of compensation (or but for the receipt of retirement pay would have been entitled to compensation) or was in receipt of pension, or who was a veteran of any war or was discharged or released from the active military, naval, or air service for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, whose body is held by a State (or a political subdivision of a State), and with respect to whom the Administrator determines that there is no next of kin or other person claiming the body of the deceased veteran, and that there are not available sufficient resources to cover burial and funeral expenses, for requirement of a veteran who dies in receipt of compensation (or but for the receipt of retirement pay would have been entitled to compensation) or in receipt of pension.

1981—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 97–35 substituted provisions relating to death of a veteran in receipt of compensation or a pension, for provisions relating to a veteran who dies of a service-connected disability, or who was a veteran of any war, discharged for a disability incurred or aggravated in line of duty, or in receipt of disability compensation.

1978—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 95–479 substituted “$300” for “$250”.

Pub. L. 95–476, §203(b)(1), (2), substituted “in the Administrator's discretion” and “as the Administrator prescribes” for “in his discretion” and “as he prescribes”, respectively.

Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 95–476, §203(b)(3), substituted “the death of such veteran” for “his death”.

1966—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 89–360 extended authorized burial allowance to include peacetime veterans who die of a service connected disability but who have neither applied for disability compensation for disability nor been discharged for disability.

1964—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 88–359 provided that no claim shall be allowed when allowance would revert to the funds of a public or private organization, or would discharge such an organization's obligation without payment, and struck out requirement that amounts paid by burial associations toward burial and funeral expenses be deducted prior to payment of allowance.

Effective Date of 1982 Amendment

Section 403(b) of Pub. L. 97–306 provided that: “The amendment made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall apply with respect to burial and funeral expenses incurred after September 30, 1982.”

Effective Date of 1981 Amendment

Section 2001(a)(2) of Pub. L. 97–35 provided that: “The amendment made by paragraph (1) [amending this section] shall take effect with respect to deaths occurring after September 30, 1981.”

Effective Date of 1978 Amendments

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–479 effective Oct. 1, 1978, see section 401(a) of Pub. L. 95–479, set out as a note under section 1114 of this title.

Amendment by Pub. L. 95–476 effective Oct. 18, 1978, see section 205(a) of Pub. L. 95–476, set out as a note under section 2303 of this title.