32 CFR 716.7 - Payment of the death gratuity.
(a) Claim certification and voucher for the death gratuity payment. The Comptroller General of the United States has approved DD Form 397 as the form to be used hereafter for claim certification and voucher for the death gratuity payment.
(b) Active duty deaths (Navy). To effect immediate payment of death gratuity the following actions will be taken:
(1) The commanding officer will ascertain that the deceased member died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive-duty training, and will obtain the name, relationship, and address of the eligible survivor from the Service Record of the deceased. The Dependency Application/Record of Emergency Data (NAVPERS 1070/602) or Record of Emergency Data (DD Form 93), will normally contain this information. In addition, in the case of enlisted personnel, the Application for Dependents Allowance (BAQ [Basic Allowance for Quarters]), NAVPERS Form 668, may serve as a source of corroboration. He will, with the cooperation of the disbursing officer, initiate preparation of a Claim Certification and Voucher for Death Gratuity Payment, DD Form 397, in original and five copies, completing blocks 5 through 14 inclusive, and the administrative statement in block 18. The administrative statement in block 18 will be signed by the commanding officer or acting commanding officer.
(2) The disbursing officer will, upon receipt of the DD Form 397, draw a check to the order of the eligible survivor named in block 5, complete blocks 2, 3, 4, and the check payment data portion of block 18.
(3) Under arrangements made by the commanding officer, the check and the original and one copy of the voucher, DD Form 397, will be delivered to the payee. The payee will be required to complete block 15, sign in block 17a, and have two witnesses complete block 17 on the original voucher at the time the check is delivered. Under no circumstances will the check be delivered to the payee until this action has been accomplished. The payee will retain the copy of the voucher, DD Form 397, and the signed original voucher will be returned by hand to the disbursing officer by the person designated to deliver the check.