If Coast Guard members are killed during the shutdown, their families won’t get benefits

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

While members of the Coast Guard continue to risk their lives on deployment during the government shutdown, the service says it will not be able to provide death benefits to their families should they be killed in the line of duty. Retirees and their families will also be affected due to a lack of funding as long as the shutdown drags on.

Families of US Coast Guard members killed in active service will not receive a one-time death benefit payment, as long as the partial government shutdown continues, according to Lt. Cmdr. Scott McBride, a spokesperson for the service. Nor will retirees, McBride added, along with the next of kin of retirees who were paying into an insurance plan.

McBride told CNN that while retirees and their next of kin are due to receive their benefits on February 1, they will not if the shutdown drags on.

“As the lapse in appropriation continues, more than 55,000 Coast Guard active duty, reserve, and civilian employees will not receive monthly pay and benefits. In addition, the federal funding hiatus may affect the retired pay for 50,000 Coast Guard annuitants,” McBride said in a statement.

It is rare for Coast Guard members to be killed in action, McBride added, but the fact remains that deployments continue despite the shutdown and the service would be unable to provide financial support for families should they need it.

On January 15, more than 40,000 active-duty Coast Guard service members did not receive their paychecks — the first time in history that US service members were not paid during a lapse in government funding, according to Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz.

The Coast Guard also has a civilian workforce of 8,000, according to the commandant, who work alongside uniformed members and have also not been paid.

Ken Fisher, of the Fisher House program, announced Thursday that his foundation is giving $50,000 in support to Hope For The Warriors, a nonprofit veteran service organization, to help provide critical aid for Coast Guard families impacted by the government shutdown. The Fisher House offers assistance to families of troops in need.

“Since January 10, Hope For The Warriors has been providing gift cards to help Coast Guards members, who are currently working without pay, to help them pay for essentials,” according to the foundation.

Fisher has previously offered to pay Pentagon emergency military benefits to families of those killed in action when the Department of Defense has been furloughed. And with Coast Guardsmen working in the Pentagon and with the military around the world, the Fisher House Foundation is again offering to assist.

On Tuesday, Schultz said in a video message that was tweeted out that it is “unacceptable” that Coast Guard members have to rely on food pantries and donations during the partial government shutdown.

“We’re five plus weeks into the anxiety and stress of this government lapse and your non-pay,” Commandant Adm. Karl L. Schultz said in a video tweeted out as a message to service members. “You as members of the armed forces should not be expected to shoulder this burden.”

Schultz said he and the Coast Guard leadership team “stand in awe of your continued dedication to duty and resilience and that of your families.” He said he was also “heartened” by the “outpouring of support from local communities across the nation.”

“But ultimately, I find it unacceptable that Coast Guard men and women have to rely on food pantries and donations to get through day-to-day life as service members,” Schultz said.<

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Trademark and Copyright 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

About FOX 2 News

FOX 2 and KPLR 11 in St. Louis cover the news in Missouri and Illinois. There are over 68 hours of live news and local programming on-air each week. Our website and live video streams operate 24/7. Download our apps for alerts and follow us on social media for updates in your feed.

President Harry Truman said: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” That spirit is alive and well at Fox 2. Our teamwork is on display each and every day.

Our news slogan is: “Coverage You Can Count On.” We quite frankly are too busy to worry about who gets the credit. Our main concern is serving the viewer.

We go where the stories take us. Whether it be Washington, D.C when a Belleville man opened fire during a congressional baseball game practice or to Puerto Rico where local Ameren crews restored power after more than 5 months in the dark.

Coverage You Can Count On means “Waking up your Day” with our top-rated morning show. From 4:00 am-10:00 am we are leading the way with breaking news. But our early morning crew also knows how to have some fun! Our strong commitment to the communities we serve is highlighted with our Friday neighborhood shows.

Our investigative unit consists of three reporters. Elliott Davis focuses on government waste, Chris Hayes is our investigative reporter, and Mike Colombo is our consumer reporter. They work in unison with the news department by sharing resources and ideas.

We continue to cover breaking news aggressively and relied on our seasoned journalists to make a difference with the stories we covered. The shooting of Arnold Police Officer Ryan O’Connor is just one example of that. Jasmine Huda was the only reporter who had exclusive access to the O’Connor family during his amazing rehabilitation in Colorado.

Last, but certainly not least, FOX 2 and KPLR 11 are committed to covering local politics. We host debates among candidates and have the most extensive presidential election coverage. Our commitment to politics isn’t just during an election year. We produce two political shows that air every weekend.


Latest News

More News