Eligibility determination allows a veteran to establish his/her eligibility for interment at a California State Veterans Cemetery. There is no cost for this determination and it does not obligate the veteran to be interred at the cemetery. Eligibility determination is intended to simplify and assist the veteran's next of kin. Eligibility determinations shall be made in accordance with federal regulations (38 CFR 38.620) and state regulations (CCR, Title 12, Sections 460-461). In certain circumstances, dependent children may also be eligible for interment. Please contact a State Veterans Cemetery for more information regarding dependent eligibility.
Upon request CDVA will make eligibility determinations for burial in a CDVA Sate Cemetery in advance of need. Eligible individuals are entitled to burial in any CDVA State Cemetery and/or VA National Cemetery which includes opening/closing of the grave, a government-furnished grave liner, perpetual care of the gravesite, and a headstone or marker. Veterans are also eligible for the Military Funeral with Honors Program and Presidential Memorial Certificate.
Burial in a CDVA State Cemetery is open to all members of the armed forces and Veterans who have met minimum active duty service requirements, as applicable by law and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Members of the reserve components of the armed forces who die while on active duty under certain circumstances or who die while on training duty are also eligible for burial, as are service members and former service members who were eligible for retired pay at the time of their death. Spouses, minor children and, under certain conditions, dependent unmarried adult children are also eligible for burial even if they predecease the Veteran.
The California Department of Veterans Affairs (CDVA) State Veterans Cemeteries have implemented a pre-need eligibility process for veterans, spouses, minor children, and unmarried dependent adult children to assist with preparation for burial within a State Veterans Cemetery prior to the time of need. Interested individuals may submit VSD-002, Eligibility for Burial Benefits Determination for burial in a CDVA State Veterans Cemetery, along with a copy of supporting documentation of military services such as a DD-214 or equivalent discharge documents and a copy of a marriage certificate, by mail directly to the cemetery desired for interment.
Completed VSD-002 Eligibility for Burial Benefits Determination form – Be sure to sign and date the form after filling it out.
Copy of veterans military discharge document – This is most commonly a Form DD-214, but may be a different record, particularly for World War II and Korean war era veterans. The document(s) must show the veteran's name, dates of active military service, and type of discharge. A discharge certificate is not sufficient to establish eligibility. For help obtaining your DD-214 or discharge documents, contact your local County Veterans Service Office or State Veterans Cemetery (contact information below).
Copy of marriage certificate – If a spouse is applying for interment at a State Veterans Cemetery, a copy of the marriage certificate is required. If the certificate is in a foreign language, please provide a translation.
Copy of death certificate – If the application is for a deceased veteran or spouse, provide a copy of the death certificate.
Authorized representatives can also apply on behalf of eligible claimants. An authorized agent or representative is an individual authorized by the claimant to make decisions on the claimant's behalf. An authorized representative first needs to be recognized by CDVA as an authorized representative or agent by providing documentation, such as a Power of Attorney, Healthcare Directive or other equivalent documentation.
There is no interment fee for eligible veterans. There is an interment fee for eligible spouses and dependent children, which is due at the time of interment. Any additional expenses associated with the interment (such as a burial permit and funeral home expenses) are the responsibility of the veterans and/or family.
CDVA will review pre-need burial applications and provide written notice of a determination of eligibility. CDVA will store the pre-need application, supporting documentation, and the decision letter to expedite burial arrangements at the time of need. We encourage you to keep the decision letter with supporting documentation with your important papers in a safe place and to discuss your burial wishes and final arrangements with your loved ones or other representatives. Submission of a pre-need burial eligibility application does not obligate the Veteran or family member to burial in a CDVA State Cemetery.
Applicants may indicate a preference for a CDVA State Cemetery on the application form. CDVA assigns gravesites once death has occurred and the burial has been scheduled.
At your time of need, your funeral home or other representative responsible for making your final arrangements should contact the CDVA State Cemetery of deceased individuals' choice to request burial. CDVA will locate your pre-need decision letter and validate our determination. Because laws affecting CDVA burial eligibility and individual circumstances may change, upon receipt of a burial request, CDVA will verify pre-need decisions in accordance with the laws in effect at that time.
STATE VETERANS CEMETERIES
Northern California Veterans Cemetery (NCVC)
P.O. Box 76 – 11800 Gas Point Rd.
Igo, CA 96047
Cemetery Manager: Mark George
NCVC offers in-ground burials for caskets and urns, placement of urns in above ground columbaria, and memorial headstones.
California Central Coast Veterans Cemetery (CCCVC)
2900 Parker Flats Road
Seaside, CA 93955
Cemetery Manager: Erica Chaney
CCCVC offers only interment of urns containing cremated remains in above ground columbaria, and memorial plaques; future phases of the cemetery's development will include in-ground burials.