27 Feb State Cemetery Grants Program
The VA department offers state cemetery grant programs that provide burial services in areas where the need for burial is not taken up by the VA national cemeteries.
Grants are provided only for the establishment, expanding or improvement of a state-owned veteran cemetery. Aid may be given to the states or the US territories.
Grants cannot be provided by the VA to cities, counties, governmental agencies or private organizations.
Up to 10% of the project cost may be provided by the VA. VA also provides the equipment to establish new cemeteries. VA does not provide any money for land acquisition as the land cost may not be categorized as an allowable cost. The land may be acquired by the state. If a state gets grants for the above mentioned developmental projects and they use it somewhere else, they are bound to return the full grant to the VA.
As a result of not complying with the regulations of the grant, the federal funds may be withdrawn or suspended.
Cemeteries developed by the grant money are bound to follow all the rules devised by VA about construction and other stuff. The cemeteries are meant to be used only for the veterans and armed forces personnel who get deceased while honoring their country. Their dependent wards and spouses may also be buried there. Any cemetery having the assistance of a grant by VA should be operated and maintained in compliance with the SOPs of National Cemetery Administration.
The management of the cemeteries owned by the state and funded by VA grants is bound to be taken care of by the state. If the next of kin of the deceased veteran cannot pay for the burial services, the VA secretary has the authority to pay an amount of up to $300 to the cemeteries for the burial and funeral services.
The state grant program of VA is meant to assist 131 cemeteries owned by VA all over the country. This state cemetery grant program provides help in the establishment of new cemeteries, their expansion, and improvement. Up till now, the grant has helped 84 state cemeteries situated in 41 different states. Almost 22,000 funeral services were provided in the fiscal year of 2007 alone. Since its evolution in 1980, more than 162 grants have been provided which exceed $312 million.