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U.S. Department of State - Great Seal

U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Death of an Employee or Family Member Overseas

The Family Liaison Office hopes that the following information will be helpful to Foreign Service employees and family members who experience the death of a loved one.      

If an employee dies while assigned to a post in a foreign area, the home service transfer allowance may be paid to eligible family member(s) (see definition 040m) to relocate to the United States provided at the time of death, they (1) resided with employee at his/her foreign post; or (2) were residing outside the United States at an agency-designated location for which they were receiving a Separate Maintenance Allowance under DSSR Section 260 (see also DSSR 252.8).

The Department of State's Office of Retirement website has up-to-date information on survivor benefits. One can also AskRNet (click on Frequently Asked Questions) and submit your own question.  Contact the Department of State Office of Retirement at or call them at 202-261-8960 / 866-224-9053.

Grief and Loss Materials

The following materials were developed to help families deal with the grief associated with the loss of a loved one. The Family Liaison Office thanks the American Hospice Foundation and The Center for Loss and Life Transition for allowing the Department of State to share their advice and grief support materials.


Information provided by the Family Liaison Office
Contact the Family Liaison Office


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