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Government Shutdown Results in Military Death Benefits Being Denied to Families of Fallen Troops

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Families of U.S. military members killed in Afghanistan over the past weekend have been told they will not receive an immediate death benefit from the government due to the shutdown.

The benefit is $100,000 and is wired to family members of the killed military member within 36 hours of the death. It is intended to cover 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.

The Pentagon revealed the elimination of funeral pay, along with other impacts of the shutdown, in a press release, which read: "The department does not currently have the authority to pay death gratuities for the survivors of service members killed in action – typically a cash payment of $100,000 paid within three days of the death of a service member."