Military Death Gratuity
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The death gratuity is intended to provide an immediate cash payment of $6,000 to assist survivors of deceased members of the armed forces to meet their financial needs during the period immediately following a member’s death and before other survivor benefits, if any, are available.

To the extent that a death gratuity payment is included in the income of a survivor of a deceased member of the armed forces for federal income tax purposes, the death gratuity payment is excluded for purpose of computing the survivor’s Iowa net income.

The death gratuity payment is paid to the "eligible survivors" of members of the armed forces.

"Members of the armed forces" includes:

  1. members of the reserve components of the armed forces...
    • who die while on active duty, or
    • who die while performing authorized travel directly to or from active duty for training or inactive-duty training
  2. members of reserve officers’ training programs...
    • who die while performing annual training duty under orders for a period of more than 13 days or
    • who die while performing authorized travel to or from that duty
  3. applicants for membership in a reserve officers’ training corps...
    • who die while attending field training or a practice cruise or
    • who die while performing authorized travel to or from the place where such training or cruise is conducted
  4. persons who die while traveling to or from, or while at, a place of acceptance for entry upon active duty who have been ordered or directed to go to that place and have been provisionally accepted for that duty or selected for service under the Military Selective Service Act.

Note that Congress has passed two military benefit bills in 2003 that include a provision similar to the above provision.

This is retroactive to tax years ending after September 10, 2001. 40.64