New rule allows 50% of death payment to go to non-relative
U.S. troops can now designate one person to receive up to 50 percent of their death gratuity of up to $100,000.
Until recently, all of a servicemember’s death gratuity would go to the next of kin as defined by law, or their parents or siblings if the servicemember had no surviving spouse or children, officials said.
In May, Congress allowed troops to designate up to 50 percent of their death gratuity to anyone the servicemember chooses, said Defense Department spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Withington.
“However, the remaining 50 percent or more must continue to be paid according to the definitive hierarchy of beneficiaries established in Title 10 United States Code,” Withington wrote in an e-mail.
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