Fisher House to send additional $25K checks to families of fallen service members

WASHINGTON – A military charity that had stepped in to continue payments to families who lost service members during the government shutdown is sending an additional check to those affected.

Fisher House Foundation says 29 families of service members killed between Oct. 1 and Oct. 10 each will receive a check for $25,000. The funds come in addition to the military death benefits that temporarily had been withheld due to the shutdown and which the families are expected to receive soon.

The Pentagon typically pays out $100,000 to families within three days of a service member’s death, but suspended the program after saying a law allowing members of the military to be paid during the shutdown did not cover the death benefit payments.

Fisher House had stepped in to cover the costs during the shutdown, and President Barack Obama on Thursday signed legislation reinstating the death benefits program.

The administration said Thursday night that the Pentagon’s agreement with Fisher House would remain intact to make sure the benefits are delivered without further interruption until officials can get the program up and running again.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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