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Government shutdown affects survivor benefits

When a soldier is killed during deployment or during active duty, survivor benefits are crucial for the surviving spouse because they often rely on those benefits to maintain their lives, especially if the have children.

But those benefits have been affected by the recent government shutdown. This resulted in a bill being passed by the Senate in order to provide the survivorship benefits to the affected families. Now that the bill has passed through the senate, it will go to the President's desk for his signature.

Typically, when a soldier is killed in active duty, the Pentagon will pay out around $100,000 within three days to the surviving spouse. Because of the government shutdown, though, there is currently no authority to pay out this money.

Until the Pentagon can send out checks again, the Obama administration has announced that the charity called the Fischer House Foundation would be picking up the costs for these payments during the shutdown.

Ensuring that these spouses and families of fallen soldiers receive survivorship benefit is important. This will not only allow the families to cover the costs associated with the loss of a loved one, but it can help cover the cost for their children.

Although military benefits and survivorship benefits are entitled to the spouses and family of a solider or fallen soldier, receiving these benefits and payouts are not always easily carried out. Those affected and facing difficulties in receiving benefit payments should understand their options, which might require them to seek assistance in understanding their rights in the situation.

Source: Huffington Post, "Bill To Provide Military Death Benefits To Families Of Fallen Soldiers Approved By Senate," Oct. 10, 2013

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