Shutdown Stops Benefits To Families Of Fallen Soldiers

Shutdown stops benefits to families of fallen soldiers

The federal government shutdown, now entering its second week, is preventing families of soldiers killed while serving their country from receiving death benefits.

The families of five US service members killed over the weekend in Afghanistan were notified they would not be receiving the $100,000 benefit, known as ‘death gratuity.’ The money is normally wired to families within 36 hours of the death.

The money is often used to help families cover funeral expenses and also to help them travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware where they can witness the flag-draped coffins of their loved ones arrive.

A senior official says the Pentagon may be able to fix the problem as quickly as today.

Photo: This undated photo shows caskets of soldiers killed in Iraq being offloaded at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware. (AFP – Getty Images file)