The families of five service members who were killed over the weekend in Afghanistan are going to have to wait for their $100,000 benefit, due to the partial government shutdown.
Families are supposed to receive the so-called “death gratuity” within 36 hours of the service member’s death, in order to help with funeral costs and living expenses until survivors benefits begin.
If the families of the service members who died this weekend want to travel to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for the arrival of the body, they would have to front the money until the shutdown is over.
This comes as 7,000 employees of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs were furloughed today, closing regional VA offices and facilities.
The delay in the death gratuity is one among a number of repercussions the VA faces in getting benefits and services out to veterans, as a result of the partial government shutdown.
- Jim Bunker, executive director of the National Gulf War Resource Center in Topeka, Kansas.