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Office of Civilian Personnel

Death Gratuity Payment

  • Coast Guard has issued Commandant Instruction (COMDTINST) 12550.21A, which authorizes a death gratuity payment of up to $10,000 to the personal representative of an appropriated fund employee who dies from a traumatic injury sustained in the line of duty. This Instruction does not apply to either the Coast Guard Auxiliarist workforce or to Coast Guard non-appropriated fund (NAF) employees. For detailed information, please contact the servicing HR Specialist or Command Staff Advisor (CSA).
  • The personal representative of the deceased employee is generally eligible to apply for the payment. That individual is the formally designated executor or administrator of the employee's estate under state law. In most cases this will be the primary individual to whom the Office of Workers' Compensation Program (OWCP) pays survivor benefits.
  • The gratuity payment is $10,000. However, there is a $1,000 offset for benefits paid by OWCP. The death gratuity is payable by the agency only when OWCP has approved the death claim. At the time the death gratuity is paid, no Federal taxes will be withheld. However, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has ruled that the $10,000 death gratuity payment is fully subject to Federal income tax.
  • OWCP Death Benefits - If there are no dependent children, the surviving spouse's monthly compensation is 50% of the employees pay. If there are dependent children, the surviving spouse will receive 45% of the employee's pay and each dependent child is entitled to 15%. The total monthly compensation cannot exceed the employee's pay or 75% of the monthly pay of the highest step for GS-15.

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Last Modified 9/19/2013