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U.S. Geological Survey Manual

340.9 - Death of an Employee

3/13/92

OPR: Admin/Financial Management

1. Purpose. This chapter sets forth the allowable expenses authorized by 5 U.S.C. 5742(b) for the preparation and transportation of the remains of a deceased employee, and by 5 U.S.C. 5722 for the transportation of the immediate family and household goods of a deceased employee.

2. Definitions.

A. United States. United States means the 50 states and the District of Columbia.

B. Continental United States. The continental United States (or CONUS) means the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

3. Policy.

A. Persons Covered. The provisions of this chapter cover an employee who dies while:

(1) On official travel away from his/her official station in the United States.

(2) Performing official duties outside CONUS.

(3) Absent from duty as provided in paragraph 3D below.

(4) Reassigned away from his/her home of record pursuant to a mandatory mobility agreement executed as a condition of employment.

B. Applicability. The provisions of this chapter apply whether an employee's death is or is not work-related.

C. Death Related to Performance of Official Duty. When an employee's death results from injuries sustained while he/she was actually performing official duty, the expenses for preparation and transportation of the remains will be properly payable under the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 8134. The authorized allowances may

not be denied because of the deceased employee's entitlement to burial benefits as a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States.

D. Death During Period of Absence From Duty. The provisions of this chapter apply when an employee is performing official travel away from his/her official station located in the United States and dies while temporarily absent from a temporary duty station. The provisions of this chapter also apply when an employee is performing official duties outside CONUS and dies while temporarily absent from his official station or temporary duty station outside CONUS. If the temporary absence is for the purpose of taking leave or occurs during nonworkdays, the allowable cost for the transportation of remains shall not exceed the amount which would have been allowed if death had occurred at the temporary duty station or at the official station outside CONUS.

E. Method of Payment. Payment of allowable expenses may be made direct to the person performing the services or by reimbursement to any person making the original payment. Claims for reimbursement shall be supported by receipts. When the remains are transported by common carrier via express service through the use of a Standard Form 1103, U.S. Government Bill of Lading, or through the use of a Standard Form 1169, U.S. Government Transportation Request, payment shall be made on the appropriate voucher forms.

F. Escort for Remains. Travel expenses of an escort for the decedent are not allowable.

4. Responsibilities. It is the responsibility of the appropriate division chief or his/her designated representative upon being informed of an employee's death which occurred while in any status subject to the provisions of this regulation, immediately to inform the decedent's next of kin or legal representative of the provisions of this chapter. The division chief or his/her designated representative shall render every reasonable assistance in arranging for preparation and transportation of the remains of the decedent when death occurs during a travel status or at the official station outside CONUS. Also, the division chief or his/her designated representative shall provide necessary assistance for the return of the decedent's immediate family and household goods to the official residence when the decedent's official station was outside CONUS.

5. Allowances.

A. Preparation of Employee's Remains. The amount allowed for preparing the remains of an employee who dies while traveling on official business within the conterminous United States is limited to $250. When death occurs during a travel status outside the conterminous United States or at the official station outside CONUS, the actual costs for preparation of the remains of an employee will be allowed.

B. Allowable Costs for Preparation of Remains. Allowable costs for preparation of remains are as follows:

(1) Cost of embalming.

(2) Necessary clothing.

(3) Casket or container suitable for shipment to place of interment.

(4) Expenses necessarily incurred in complying with local laws and laws at the port of entry in the United States applicable to the preparation of remains for transportation and burial.

C. Transportation of Employee Remains.

(1) Death while performing Official Travel within the Continental United States. When an employee dies while performing official travel within CONUS, payment is authorized for the cost of transporting the remains to

the employee's place of actual residence, official station, or place of interment. The cost of transportation shall not exceed the cost to the place of actual residence or official station, whichever is more distant.

(2) Death while performing official duties outside the continental United States. When an employee dies while performing official duties outside CONUS, payment is authorized for the cost of transporting the remains to the employee's place of actual residence, official station, or place of interment. The cost of transportation shall not exceed the cost to the place of actual residence or official station, whichever is more distant.

D. Transportation of Remains of a Member of an Employee's Immediate Family. Under the authority of 5 U.S.C. 5742(c), the division chief may authorize payment for transportation of remains of a member of an employee's immediate family who dies while residing with an employee stationed outside the continental United States.

E. Allowable Costs for Transportation of Employee Remains.

(1) By Common Carrier. The allowable costs for transportation of remains by common carrier include the costs of:

(a) Movement from place of death to a mortuary.

(b) Shipping permits.

(c) Outside case for shipment of remains (including the sealing of the shipping case when necessary).

(d) Removal to common carrier.

(e) Transportation of the remains by common carrier.

(f) One removal from the common carrier.

(2) By Hearse or Means Other Than Common Carrier. Charges for transportation of remains overland by hearse or means other than common carrier shall not exceed the cost of common carrier transportation. Reimbursable costs include the cost of hearse or means other than common carrier plus ferry fares, bridge tolls, and similar charges. An allowance for an outside shipping case is not authorized for this conveyance.

F. Transportation of the Immediate Family and Household Goods.

(1) While Performing Duties Outside CONUS.

(a) General. The cost of return transportation of the immediate family and the baggage and household goods of the decedent and his/her immediate family shall be allowed when an employee dies while he/she is performing official duties outside CONUS, or while he/she is in transit to or from such post. Allowable transportation costs shall not exceed the costs of returning the immediate family and the baggage and household goods from the place where official duties were performed or were to be performed, by the most direct route to the decedent's place of actual residence, or to any other place his/her appointed representative may designate, provided the cost to the government shall not exceed the cost of transportation to the decedent's place of actual residence. Transportation to a place other than the place of actual residence must be approved by the appropriate division chief.

(b) Time Limitations. Travel of the immediate family and shipment of household goods must be undertaken within 1 year from the date of death of the employee, except that an extension of the time for shipment of household goods may be granted by the Assistant Director for Administration if requested prior to the expiration of the 1-year limit.

(c) Transportation of Immediate Family. The transportation of the immediate family is subject to the provisions of SM 340.6.

(d) Transportation of Household Goods. The costs allowed for the transportation of household goods are limited to those prescribed in SM 340.6. Reference in SM 340.6 to "employee" shall mean the deceased employee's legal representative or a member of his/her immediate family when the term is used in connection with the transportation of the household goods of a deceased employee.

(2) While Stationed in the Conterminous United States. When an employee stationed in the conterminous United States dies while on temporary duty, transportation expenses shall not be authorized for his/her immediate family or his/her household goods. The deceased employee's baggage at the temporary duty point shall be transported at Government expense to his/her official station or place of actual residence.

G. Transportation of Baggage. The allowable cost for transportation of personal baggage other than household goods shall include the expenses actually and necessarily incurred in transporting personal baggage as prescribed in SM 340.5. Expenses in connection with the transportation of baggage by a privately owned conveyance which would not have been incurred if the baggage had been transported by common carrier shall not be allowed. Reimbursement for loss or damage to baggage during transit shall not be allowed, nor shall charges for marine and other insurance be allowed.

H. Prohibition of Payment When Other Laws Apply. Payment of allowances provided by this chapter shall not be made if payment is authorized by any other law of the United States. However, the allowance provided by this chapter shall not be denied because the deceased employee is eligible for burial benefits as a veteran of the Armed Forces of the United States.


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U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, VA, USA
URL: http://www.usgs.gov/usgs-manual/340/340-9.html
Contact: APS, Office of Policy and Analysis
Last modification: 08-Jan-2013@15:43 (kk)
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