When a New Zealand veteran has passed away, we may be able to help with funeral costs. The veteran need not be living in New Zealand at time of death, but must have qualifying service—that is:
- service before 1 April 1974; or
- Qualifying Operational Service [PDF, 230 KB] (including on or after 1 April 1974).
Situations that qualify
Death due to qualifying service
We may help with funeral costs where death is due to qualifying service.
Death not due to qualifying service
Where death isn’t service-related, we may help with funeral costs if certain conditions are met. The veteran must have been getting, at time of death, one of:
- Veteran's Pension (external link)
- Weekly Compensation
- Weekly Income Compensation
- NZ Superannuation (external link) (Work & Income entitlement)
- Supported Living Payment (external link) (Work & Income entitlement).
The veteran must also have left surviving family who qualify for one of:
- Dependant's Pension [PDF, 196 KB]
- Children's Pension
- Surviving Spouse or Partner Pension (external link)
- Survivor's Grant
- Weekly Compensation for Family.
Costs you can claim
If another government agency, such as ACC, NZDF or Work and Income, has made a funeral grant, you can still apply to us. We’ll take account of their grant in deciding what to pay.
Costs of funeral, burial & cremation
Standard costs we can help with are for funeral, burial and cremation.
Costs of transporting body
We may help with costs of taking the body to place of interment, if death was from qualifying service, and in:
- public hospital (on Ministry of Health list) (external link) ; or
- private hospital (on Ministry of Health list) (external link) .
The amount we can cover may depend on the total distance travelled for this. The total distance is calculated as:
- vehicle’s start point, to
- taking up the body at the hospital, to
- taking the body to first transfer, to
- taking the body to final transfer, back to
- vehicle’s start point.
If total distance doesn’t exceed 35km, we’ll pay reasonable costs of taking the body to burial or cremation.
If total distance exceeds 35km, we’ll pay the lesser of:
- reasonable cost of carrying the body to the burial or cremation place; or
- amount equivalent to the reasonable cost of carrying the body back to where the veteran lived (before entering hospital).
Application (Funeral expenses) [PDF, 423 KB] may be by the next-of-kin or the estate.
- Factsheet (Funeral Expenses) [PDF, 125 KB]: summary for printing
- Cemeteries: interment in a service cemetery
- Memorials: service memorial, or help with cost of a memorial
- Payment rates (family): payment rates, including for funeral costs
- Reviews: review rights, if you disagree with a decision about entitlement
- Veterans' Support Act (external link) (NZ Legislation website): sections 152–155