The care of family members following the death of a Sailor is paramount to the Navy. Death Gratuity is a lump sum gratuitous payment made by the Navy to eligible beneficiaries of Sailors who die on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive duty for training.
U.S. Code Title 10 sets forth policy for the payment of death gratuity to eligible beneficiaries upon the death of an eligible servicemember. MILPERSMAN Article 1770-280 defines Navy policy for Sailors eligibility, eligible beneficiaries, and awarding of death gratuity. Effective January 06, 2006, the death gratuity payment is $100,000.
Sailors may designate one or more persons to receive all or a portion of the death gratuity. The amount payable to the designee will be specified on their Record of Emergency Data (Page 2) in 10 percent increments.
If a married Sailor designates a person other than his or her spouse to receive all or a portion of the death gratuity, the Sailor’s Commanding Officer (CO) shall provide a written notice of the designation to the spouse, see MILPERSMAN Article 1770-280.
Payment of death gratuity will be made to the eligible beneficiary by DFAS Cleveland via Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). However, if the payee requests, check payment of death gratuity can be arranged. Your Casualty Assistance Calls Officer (CACO) will be able to asssit you in arranging for payment by either EFT or check. It is stro ngly recommended that next of kin consider EFT to avoid potential problems in cashing such a large check.
For additional information please call your CACO or Navy Casualty Assistance at:
TOLL FREE: 1-800-368-3202