Shutdown Halts Death Benefits To Families Of Fallen Soldiers - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Disgusting': Outrage Erupts As Shutdown Halts Death Benefits To Fallen Soldiers' Kin

Posted: Updated:
(Left to right) Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno and Special Agent Joseph M. Peters were killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Sunday. (Left to right) Pfc. Cody J. Patterson, Sgt. Patrick C. Hawkins, 1st Lt. Jennifer M. Moreno and Special Agent Joseph M. Peters were killed by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan on Sunday.

NBCNEWS.COM - The shutdown of the federal government is now affecting some families when they are most vulnerable, denying them benefits to help with funeral expenses of loved ones killed while serving the country.

The families of five U.S. service members who were killed over the weekend in Afghanistan have been notified that they won't be receiving the $100,000 benefit normally wired to relatives within 36 hours of the death. The "death gratuity" is intended to help cover funeral costs and help with immediate living expenses until survivor benefits typically begin.

The money also helps cover costs to fly families to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware to witness the return of their loved ones in flag-draped coffins.

"Washington may be shut down, but it's still asking people to go to war," said Gayle Tzemach Lemmon of the Council on Foreign Relations."When people realize that they can serve and fight for their country, but that their families will get an I.O.U. until the shutdown is over, I think they're just shocked." 

Marine Lance Corporal Jeremiah Collins Jr., a 19-year-old from Milwaukee, died Saturday while on patrol in Afghanistan's Helmand Province. He was one of five service members killed in Afghanistan over the weekend, including four troop members who died Sunday in an IED attack.

A law passed last week to continue paying civilian members of the military during the shutdown, but does not allow for payouts of the death benefit to the families of the fallen, officials told NBC's Andrea Mitchell. One senior official said he was "disgusted" by the predicament, but believes the Pentagon may be able to correct the problem as early as Tuesday.

The shutdown of the federal government is now affecting some families when they are most vulnerable, denying them benefits to help with funeral expenses of loved ones killed while serving the country.

The families of five U.S. service members who were killed over the weekend in Afghanistan have been notified that they won't be receiving the $100,000 benefit normally wired to relatives within 36 hours of the death. The "death gratuity" is intended to help cover funeral costs and help with immediate living expenses until survivor benefits typically begin.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? 10 Homes For Sale In Spokane For $125,000

    Thursday, April 17 2014 5:56 PM EDT2014-04-17 21:56:12 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spring is a popular time to purchase and sell a home. Here are 10 homes for sale in Spokane for $125,000. These homes were found on www.WindermereSpokane.com. If you would like more information on any of these homes or would like to schedule a tour, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • LOOK: 5 Foreclosed N. Idaho Homes For Sale For Under $120,000

    LOOK: 5 Foreclosed N. Idaho Homes For Sale For Under $120,000

    Wednesday, March 12 2014 2:00 PM EDT2014-03-12 18:00:09 GMT
    KHQ.COM - If you are in the market to buy a house you may want to consider looking at these homes that are currently in foreclosure in N. Idaho. These are five homes in multiple areas of N. Idaho that you can get for under $120,000. With a little paint and some elbow grease, many of these homes would be great for those who are looking to flip a home and turn a profit.>>
    KHQ.COM - If you are in the market to buy a house you may want to consider looking at these homes that are currently in foreclosure in N. Idaho. These are five homes in multiple areas of N. Idaho that you can get for under $120,000. With a little paint and some elbow grease, many of these homes would be great for those who are looking to flip a home and turn a profit.>>
  • LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    LOOKING FOR A HOME? Here Are 15 Homes For Sale For $175,000

    Tuesday, April 15 2014 10:08 AM EDT2014-04-15 14:08:47 GMT
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
    KHQ.COM - Spring is a popular time for those looking to buy or sell their home! We found 15 homes currently for sale in Spokane and surrounding areas all priced at $175,000. These homes were found on WindermereSpokane.Com for more information on a particular property, contact your real estate agent with the correct MLS number.>>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Jury Finds Arteaga Guilty Of Murder

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:10 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:10:15 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It took a jury only a little more than two hours on Wednesday to find Daniel Arteaga guilty for the murder of Kim Schmidt. The prosecution said Arteaga was very jealous that his relationship was ending with Schmidt and she was moving on. They say that's part of the reason why he decided to kill her at the beginning of 2012. The defense disagreed saying that Arteaga was not there when she died and they think she may have even died of suicide>>
  • Child Care More Expensive Than College In Most States

    Child Care More Expensive Than College In Most States

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:09 PM EDT2014-04-24 01:09:26 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It’s something parents all over the Inland Northwest have felt for years and now the data proves it: the average cost of daycare now exceeds in-state college tuition in 31 states, including Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. The report from Child Care Aware shows daycare is roughly $1,000-$5,000 a year more expensive than college in the four above-listed states.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - It’s something parents all over the Inland Northwest have felt for years and now the data proves it: the average cost of daycare now exceeds in-state college tuition in 31 states, including Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. The report from Child Care Aware shows daycare is roughly $1,000-$5,000 a year more expensive than college in the four above-listed states.>>