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Pay & Benefits Watch: Support Network

Alex M. Parker | Government Executive

November 12, 2009

This Veterans Day is a bittersweet celebration — a mix of admiration and appreciation on behalf of all of those who serve in the U.S. military and lingering pain and disbelief about the tragic shooting that left 13 dead and 29 wounded at Fort Hood last week.

As the nation mourns the military members and civilians killed and injured on Nov. 5, the government is stepping forward to support their families. Survivors of the service members who died in the attack are entitled to benefits from the Defense, Labor and Veterans Affairs departments and the Social Security Administration. These include dependency and indemnity compensation, educational assistance, guaranteed home loans and a death gratuity. Defense’s Casualty Assistance Program also provides support.

The families of civilian employees killed in the attack are eligible for survivor benefits including continued health care coverage; life insurance; and a survivor annuity, depending on the coverage of the deceased. Civilian victims or their families also may qualify for workers compensation.

If you would like to help, there are ways to contribute directly to support efforts. United Service Organizations has set up a special fund to assist the Fort Hood community, and donations can be made here. USO contributions made through the Combined Federal Campaign will go toward the organization’s general mission of assisting U.S. service members and their families and will not be set aside for this specific fund.

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