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Appendix I Financial Reports
One copy to the member’s service record SUMMARY One copy to BUPERS Delivery of the Death Gratuity Check The  casualty  assistance  calls  officer  (CACO)  or some other representative of the CO will personally deliver the death gratuity check to the payee. This should be accomplished within 24 hours, if possible. At the time of delivery, the payee will sign the original of the DD 397, certifying receipt of the payment and his or  her  status  as  a  beneficiary.  Two  witnesses  who personally know the payee must also sign the original form. The original is then returned to the DO. Reports Confirming Payment of Death Gratuity In addition, a Navy DO must report the payment of a  death  gratuity  by  message  to  DFAS—CL  with information copies to BUPERS and the commandant of the naval district where the payee lives. This message must refer to the original casualty message and include the name, social security account number (SSAN), and organization of the deceased; the name, relationship to the deceased, and address of the payee; and the amount and date of the payment. Separations,  discharges,  and  retirements  are  not really  difficult;  but,  they  do  involve  considerable coordination,  timing,  and  paper  work.  Everyone  must work  together  to  make  sure  all  documents  are  properly prepared  in  time  to  allow  for  orderly  processing.  It  is especially important that all documents are received and processed before final payments are made. Inadequate  documentation,  bad  timing,  and  sloppy processing  will  result  in  overpayments,  underpayments, and accounts that are out of balance. Put yourself in the shoes of a service member who is being separated or discharged. This person is dealing with a lot. The DOD is counting on you to do your part to ease the strain. Any member making the transition from active duty is entitled  to  adequate  support  from  the  disbursing  office. This   person   should   not   have   to   feel   bitter   and disillusioned because of problems in his or her pay and benefits. The death gratuity, because of the situation, requires  special  sensitivity  along  with  quick  and accurate  action  on  the  part  of  all  concerned.  The processing of the DD 397 and preparation of the gratuity check must be done without delay to meet the desired deadline of delivery to the payee within 24 hours. The key to all these procedures is coordination and attention to detail. 9-12

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