Summary: S.3473 — 114th Congress (2015-2016)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for S.3473. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (11/17/2016)

Death Gratuity Equity Act of 2016

This bill requires federal agencies to pay a death gratuity of $100,000 per employee for the death of civilian employees resulting from injuries sustained in the line of duty that did not result from natural causes or the employee's serious and willful misconduct. The bill also allows an additional payment of up to $8,800 for funeral and burial expenses. (Currently, funeral and burial payments may not exceed $800 per employee and the combination of payments for death gratuity, funeral, burial, and other compensation and reimbursements may not exceed $10,000 per employee.)

The amounts must be adjusted annually for inflation. For tax purposes, a death gratuity payment shall not be considered gross income to the person receiving payment.

The death gratuity remains at $100,000 for an employee who dies of injuries incurred in connection with service with an Armed Force in a contingency operation, except that employees who are noncitizens and nonresidents of the United States or Canada, and their dependents, are subject to the Department of Labor's authority to modify payments that are substantially disproportionate to compensation for disability or death payable in similar cases under local laws or customs at the place outside the continental United States or Canada where the employee is working at the time of injury. The bill also allows such death gratuities in connection with such Armed Force service to be paid in addition to any other amounts paid under U.S. law based on the same death.

The Foreign Service Act of 1980 is amended to make death gratuities payable to the surviving beneficiaries (currently, dependents) of U.S. Foreign Service employees, or individuals in a special category serving in an uncompensated capacity for that agency in support of a diplomatic mission, who die as a result of injuries sustained in the performance of duty abroad. But the Foreign Service death gratuity is reduced by the amount of any federal civilian employee death gratuity paid under this bill for the same death.

Additional amounts are authorized to be appropriated for death gratuity payments under this bill if an agency and the Office of Management and Budget determine that a natural disaster, act of terrorism, or other incident results in the inability of the agency to meet these death gratuity payment requirements. An authorized payment that exceeds the amount available to the agency without additional appropriations may be made only if Congress makes the additional appropriations for that purpose.