UNCLASSIFIED (U)

3 FAM 2550 

DEATHS IN SERVICE

(CT:PER-989;   05-14-2020)
(Office of Origin:  GTM/OCA)

3 FAM 2551  GENERAL

(CT:PER-989;   05-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. The death of a Civil Service (CS) or Foreign Service (FS) employee of the Department of State may be the result of an illness or injury incurred in the performance of duty, or the result of causes unrelated to employment.  A death occurring abroad must be investigated to establish a cause and manner of death.  The Office of Casualty Assistance (DGTM/OCA) is responsible for administrative assistance and ongoing support following the death of any U.S. citizen CS or FS employee of the Department of State and of any eligible family member whose employee sponsor is assigned abroad.  DGTM/OCA provides a single point-of-contact within the Department of State for bereaved families and assists dependents and beneficiaries to file for benefits for which they may be eligible.

b. This subchapter contains procedures that must be followed in the event of death of a CS employee, a FS employee, an eligible family member of an employee assigned abroad, and employees employed by posts abroad.  For deaths in the performance of duty, also see 3 FAM 3650.

3 FAM 2552  APPLICABILITY

(CT:PER-667;   02-27-2012)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

This subchapter applies to the following employees domestically and abroad:

(1)  Civil Service employees in the United States (see 3 FAM 2553.3);

(2)  Foreign Service employees in the United States (3 FAM 2553.3);

(3)  U.S. citizen employees assigned, or eligible family members of such employees, abroad (3 FAM 2553.1); and

(4)  Employees employed at posts abroad (including Foreign Service nationals (FSNs) and those employed under personal services contracts and personal services agreements) (3 FAM 2553.2).

3 FAM 2553  CITIZEN EMPLOYEES AND ELIGIBLE FAMILY MEMBERS ABROAD - PROCEDURES AND GUIDELINES

3 FAM 2553.1  Post Responsibility

3 FAM 2553.1-1  Telegraphic Report to Department

(CT:PER-561;   07-28-2005)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service employees)

In the event of death of a U.S. citizen employee (exclusive of employees employed by overseas posts) or an eligible family member of such employee while assigned abroad, the post will transmit the following information by telegram to the Department:

(1)  Name of employee, or in the case of an eligible family member, name, and relationship of family member and name of employee, and employee’s agency (State, USAID, etc.);

(2)  Place, cause (if known), and time of death.  If details are not known at time telegram is sent, the post must inform Department immediately when known; and

(3)  If necessary, specific instructions to notify next-of-kin, legal representative, or other person, including name, address, and telephone number of such person, if known.

3 FAM 2553.1-2  Captioning Telegram

(CT:PER-989;   05-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. In the case of death of a Department of State employee, or any eligible family member of such employee, the telegram will bear the special caption OBIT/STATE (see 5 FAH-2 H-443) and include the Office of Casualty Assistance (DGTM/OCA) and the regional bureau or the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (as appropriate) on the addressee line.

b. Telegrams reporting the death of employees of other agencies (USAID, Commerce, etc.) or of any eligible family members of such employees must be specifically marked for the employing agency for its action (e.g., OBIT/AID, OBIT/Commerce) and include the Office of Casualty Assistance (DGTM/OCA) and the regional bureau or the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (as appropriate) on the addressee line.

3 FAM 2553.1-3  Notification of Post Medical Staff

(CT:PER-667;   02-27-2012)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. Post will notify the regional medical officer or Foreign Service health practitioner upon the death of any U.S. Civil Service and Foreign Service employee or eligible family member abroad.  In the event there is no Foreign Service medical provider at post, the notification will be made to the regional medical officer for that post.

b. The regional medical officer or the Foreign Service health practitioner is then responsible for reporting deaths to the Office of Medical Services in accordance with 16 FAM 133.1.

c.  The regional medical officer, Foreign Service health practitioner and/or regional medical officer/psychiatric will provide any medical or mental health services required by the family or community.

3 FAM 2553.1-4  Notification of Regional Security Officer (RSO) and Further Post Actions

(CT:PER-866;   08-23-2017)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. Post must immediately notify the regional security officer (RSO) of any death covered by this subchapter so that the RSO may:

(1)  Provide continued safety and security of personnel under chief-of-mission authority;

(2)  Respond to the scene of the death; and

(3)  Secure the scene of death and initiate an investigation, as appropriate, following 1 FAM 262.4-1(D).

b. Posts may be asked to provide information to surviving family members or assist, as appropriate, with matters listed below:

(1)  Deaths, disposition of remains, and personal estates of U.S. citizen employees, exclusive of locally employed staff other than EFM’s employed in the mission (7 FAM 200);

(2)  Allowable travel and transportation expenses (14 FAM 500);

(3)  Proceeds of undelivered check(s) due deceased payee (4 FAM 341.2 and 4 FAM 482);

(4)  Death benefits and claims under Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (3 FAM 3620);

(5)  Any benefits available under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (3 FAM 3610);

(6)  Payment of employee’s unpaid compensation (3 FAM 3100 and 4 FAM 482);

(7)  Lump-sum payment for annual leave (3 FAM 3336);

(8)  Benefits payable under Foreign Service or Civil Service retirement (refer to 3 FAM 6000);

(9)  Compensation payable for work injuries under Federal Employees Compensation Act (3 FAM 3650); and

(10) Reference to the Department of Veterans Affairs National Cemetery Administration Web site for burial arrangements in a national cemetery, if eligible and if desired by the family.

c.  See 3 FAM 2510 for effective date of separation, 4 FAM 510 for payroll procedures, and the Standardized Regulations for termination of allowances.

3 FAM 2553.1-5  Departmental Responsibility

(CT:PER-989;   05-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. It is the responsibility of the Operations Center to set up a conference call between the chief of mission (COM) or designee; the Assistant Secretary or designee of the affected regional bureau; the Assistant Secretary or designee of the functional bureau, if appropriate; and the duty officer of DGTM/OCA to determine how notification of the next-of-kin or other person designated in post’s telegraphic report of death will be made when the next-of-kin is not resident at post.  If the deceased employee worked for another agency, then a representative of that agency should be included on the call.  The Special Investigations Division (DS/ICI/SID) should always be included on the call to make a determination as to whether further action is needed on its part.  If post does not provide contact information, the Operations Center will utilize information maintained in the Employee Services Center emergency contact database.

b. It is the responsibility of DGTM/OCA to assist in:

(1)  Preparing a condolence letter from the Secretary;

(2)  Working with post, bureau, and other entities and agencies as necessary to provide assistance and support for such issues as return and escort of remains; return of effects; coordination in regard to investigative efforts; assisting bureaus with memorial services in the Department; and other pertinent issues that may arise;

(3)  Sending the next-of-kin or legal representative a letter advising of Federal benefits for which the deceased individual may be eligible;

(4)  Providing pertinent forms to the next-of-kin or legal representative and assistance in completing required forms;

(5)  Arranging for the next-of-kin or legal representative to meet with a representative from the Bureau of Global Talent Management Office of Retirement (GTM/RET) or the Office of Employee Relations (GTM/ER) to discuss benefits, as necessary; and

(6)  Providing ongoing support to the family of the deceased, as appropriate, including information on crime victim support and referrals on grief resources.

c.  It is the responsibility of the Office of Career Development and Assignments (GTM/CDA) for Foreign Service employees and the Office of Global Talent Management (GTM/CSTM) for Civil Service employees and their respective servicing human resource offices to process Form SF-50, Notification of Personnel Action, to separate the employee from the Department.

d. It is the responsibility of the Family Liaison Office (DGTM/FLO) to provide guidance to Community Liaison Office (DGTM/CLO) coordinators on how best to respond and support family members of the deceased and members of the community at post.  DGTM/FLO offers resources on grief and loss, suggestions on organizing a memorial service, and a Survivor Checklist for the family.  DGTM/FLO is available, as needed, to support and assist the family returning to the United States.

3 FAM 2553.2  Death of Overseas Employees

(CT:PER-667;   02-27-2012)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. In case of death of a local employee or staff member employed by a post abroad (FSNs, PSCs, PSAs) who is not covered by 3 FAM 2553, the post is responsible for notifying next-of-kin and for rendering all necessary and appropriate assistance (see 3 FAM 7000 and post compensation plan).

b. In the case of death of U.S. citizen contractors who are not covered by 3 FAM 2553, Consular Affairs Office of Overseas Citizen Services (CA/OCS) is responsible for notifying next-of-kin and for rendering all necessary and appropriate assistance (see 7 FAM 200).

3 FAM 2553.3  Death of Department Employees in the United States

3 FAM 2553.3-1  Bureau Responsibility

(CT:PER-989;   05-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

a. When a State Department employee dies in the United States, the appropriate human resources/management officer in the executive office of the employing bureau will:

(1)  Immediately notify the Office of Career Development and Assignments (GTM/CDA) for Foreign Service personnel or the Office of Global Talent Management (GTM/CSTM) for Civil Service personnel; and

(2)  Furnish the Office of Casualty Assistance (DGTM/OCA) with the name, address, and telephone number of next-of-kin or legal representative or other person to be contacted.

b. The appropriate human resources/management officer of the employing bureau will complete a:

(1)  Form SF-52, Notification of Personnel Action, and send it to GTM/CDA for Foreign Service or GTM/CSTM for Civil Service;

(2)  Form SF-2821, Agency Certification of Insurance Status, for employees enrolled in CSRS at the time of death; Form SF-2800A, Agency Certification for Death in Service; and Form SF-2810, Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment; and

(3)  Form SF-2821, Agency Certification of Insurance Status, for employees enrolled in FERS at the time of death; Form SF-3104-B, Documentation and Elections in Support of Application for Death Benefits; and Form SF-2810, Notice of Change in Health Benefits Enrollment.  All original forms must be sent to DGTM/OCA.

c.  The employing bureau should prepare an inventory and secure any personal items in the employee’s office (witnessed by at least one other employee) until arrangements can be made for the claiming of such items.

d. When a member of the Foreign Service dies in the United States, as per 14 FAM 536.2, the employing bureau covers the cost of preparation and transportation of remains, travel of eligible family members, and storage and/or shipment of household effects.

3 FAM 2553.3-2  Bureau of Global Talent Management Responsibility

(CT:PER-989;   05-14-2020)
(State Only)
(Applies to Foreign Service and Civil Service Employees)

It is the responsibility of the Office of Casualty Assistance (DGTM/OCA) to assist in:

(1)  Preparing a condolence letter from the Secretary;

(2)  Sending the next-of-kin or legal representative a letter advising of benefits for which the deceased individual may be eligible, such as life insurance and unpaid compensation;

(3)  Providing pertinent forms to the next-of-kin or legal representative and assistance in completing required forms;

(4)  Arranging for the next-of-kin or legal representative to meet with a representative from the Office of Retirement (GTM/RET) or the Office of Employee Relations (GTM/ER) to discuss benefits, as necessary; and

(5)  Providing ongoing support to the family of the deceased, as appropriate.

3 FAM 2554  THROUGH 2559 UNASSIGNED

 

UNCLASSIFIED (U)