Military death benefits denied to families of fallen troops due to shutdown
WASHINGTON — Multiple families of U.S. military members killed in Afghanistan over the past weekend were told they will not receive an immediate death benefit from the government due to the shutdown.
On Monday, Defense officials confirmed family members of troops killed in action were not able to immediately access gratuities guaranteed to them in the event of a death.
Those benefits, according to multiple media reports, include a $100,000 cash payment due within three days of a service member’s death, travel costs to and from Dover Air Force Base to meet a loved one’s remains, costs to cover memorial services, caskets and burial expenses and other costs.
“Unfortunately, as a result of the shutdown, we do not have the legal authority to make death gratuity payments at this time,” Navy Lt. Com. Nate Christensen, a Pentagon spokesman, told USA Today.
“We are keeping a close eye on those survivors,” he says. “We’re ready to pay out as soon as the money comes through. We care a great deal about them.”
Read more: USA Today