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Missouri Lawmakers Promise Action on Military Death Benefits

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Missouri lawmakers promise quick action to return death benefits to family of fallen military members, after a cut-off during the government shutdown.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- One of the things impacted by the partial government shutdown is the loss of benefits for the U.S. military - including death benefits for families of slain soldiers.

SA Sgt. Joseph Peters of Springfield was killed Sunday in Afghanistan, along with three others.  His family tells KOLR10 News they have been denied death benefits as long as the shutdown lingers.

Now lawmakers are promising to act quickly to remedy that.

Rep. Billy Long (R-MO), Springfield, says he's working to make sure military families receive the benefits they have been promised.
He co-sponsored of the Fallen Heroes And Families Assistance Act.

Long says this legislation ensures the death benefits for military families are not delayed due to the government shutdown.
He also says the House Appropriations Committee chairman assured long that the House is working on a fix to address this issue.

Missouri's Senators want the Department of Defense to provide those death benefits to military families immediately.
Sen. Roy Blunt (R) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D),  and Arkansas Sen. John Boozman (R) were among the lawmakers who sent a letter to Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

In a statement, the Department of Defense claims it does not have the authority to make those payments.

Families typically receive $100,000 within three days of a service member's death.

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