On January 28, 2008, the Federal Employees' Compensation Act (FECA) was amended by adding a new section 5 U.S. Code § 8102a. This new provision creates a Death Gratuity for Federal employees (and employees of nonappropriated fund instrumentalities) by authorizing the United States to pay up to $100,000 to the survivors of "an employee who dies of injuries incurred in connection with the employee's service with an Armed Force in a contingency operation."
Unlike other death gratuities, this death gratuity was placed in the authority of the FECA and, for that reason, it is administered by the Department of Labor's Office of Workers' Compensation Programs as part of the FECA program. This one-time death gratuity is disbursed to the survivors of the employee in a specific, and somewhat complicated, order of precedence outlined in the statute. A Designation Form can be filled out if the employee wants to designate one or more alternate beneficiaries of a death gratuity payable under this provision.
More information can be found by reading the Civilian Personnel Management Services Death Gratuity Memo on the CPMS Web site.