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Rubio, Peters Introduce Legislation Improving Veterans Burial Honors

Jul 20, 2017 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL) and Gary Peters (D-MI) today introduced the Burial Rights for America’s Veterans’ Efforts (BRAVE) Act, legislation that would update the current funeral and burial benefit system to ensure that all non-service connected deaths are treated equally, regardless of where the veteran passes away. Veterans with no next of kin that pass away in a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) facility are currently afforded greater funds to cover the costs of their funerals and burials than veterans who pass away in a private home or other facility.
“Our veterans have sacrificed so much defending our country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude that we can never fully repay, said Rubio. “They are entitled to a proper funeral and burial no matter where they pass away. This bipartisan legislation will ensure we honor all of America’s heroes properly, with the highest honors and respect.
“Our brave men and women in uniform have sacrificed so much in defense of our nation, and we owe it to them to ensure they receive the benefits they earned through their service, including a dignified burial,” said Peters. “I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation to honor our nation’s heroes by making commonsense updates to veterans’ funeral benefits to help ensure every veteran has a proper funeral and burial, no matter the circumstances at the end of their lives.”
Currently, the VA burial benefit provides $300 for non-service-connected deaths and for veterans who have passed without a next-of-kin, $749 if a veteran passes away in a VA facility, and $2,000 if a veteran passes away from a service-connected disability.
The BRAVE Act will increase the $300 for non-service connected deaths to $749 to equal the benefit received if a veteran passes away in a VA facility. The legislation additionally indexes for inflation both the non-service and service-related passing funeral benefits, thereby eliminating the need for Congress to make further readjustments.