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Designated  Beneficiaries
OFFICIAL  GUIDELINES Any member of the Reserve Officers’ Training The  Department   of   Defense   Financial Management  Regulations  (DODFMR),  Volume  7A, part A, covers completely the requirements and laws governing the payment of a death gratuity. The Source Data  System  Procedures  Manual  (SDSPROMAN), Volume 2, and the DFAS  Pay/Personnel  Procedures Manual  (Navy)  (DFASPPN),  Volume  2,  cover  the procedures  for  payment  of  the  death  gratuity. ELIGIBILITY OF MEMBERS FOR WHOM PAYABLE Any person who is appointed, enlisted, or inducted into  a  branch  of  the  military  service,  including  the Reserve components, and cadets or midshipmen of the service academies, is considered to be a member of the military service. If the member dies, a death gratuity is payable to the eligible beneficiaries undercurrent laws and policies. Examples of members for whom death gratuities are payable include those in the following categories: A  member  who  dies  while  on  active  duty  or while traveling to or from such duty.    A member or former member who dies during the  120-day  period  beginning  on  the  day following the date of discharge or release, under honorable   conditions,   from   active   duty (including  retirement  for  either  disability  or length   of   service).   In   this   case,   the Administrator  of  Veterans  Affairs  must determine that the death resulted from disease or injury incurred or aggravated while the member was on active duty or in an authorized travel status to or from such duty.     Any person who dies while traveling to or from a place for final acceptance into the military service or who dies at the place for entry upon active  duty  (other  than  for  training)  in  the military service, as long as the person has been ordered or directed to go to that place, and has been provisionally accepted for that duty. A   member   whose   death   is   determined   by administrative  finding  under  the  Missing Persons  Act.    A reservist who dies while traveling directly to or from active duty. Corps  who  dies  while  performing  annual training duty under orders for a period of more than 13 days or while performing authorized travel to or from that annual training duty. Also, any applicant for membership in the Reserve Officers’   Training   Corps   who   dies   while attending field training or a practice cruise or while performing authorized travel to or from the place where the training or cruise is conducted. ELIGIBLE  BENEFICIARIES When  officially  notified  that  a  member  of  the command has died, the CO maintaining the member’s personnel  or  service  records  determines  if  an  eligible death  gratuity  beneficiary  exists.  Legal  assistance officers can help in cases involving questions of law. Generally, a death gratuity is payable to, or for, individuals in the following categories who are defined as the authorized living survivors of the decedent: Lawful  spouse Child,  or  children,  in  equal  shares  (without regard to age or marital status) Member’s   relatives,   consisting   of   parents, brothers, sisters, or any combination thereof as designated by the member Surviving parents in equal shares Surviving brothers and sisters in equal shares All   eligible   survivors   are   restricted   to   these categories.  If  there  are  no  survivors  as  previously described, the death gratuity is not payable to any other person. For clarification, let’s take a closer look at each of these categories. Lawful  Spouse A lawful spouse is a man or woman who is legally married to the member at the time of the member’s death.  This  is  determined  by  entitlement  to  basic allowance   for   quarters   (BAQ)   or   evidence   of assignment  of  government  quarters  to  a  member  and spouse. In the absence of such proof, documentary evidence  of  marriage  and  proof  of  termination  of  any prior marriage of either the beneficiary or decedent may be  used. 9-9

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