38 USC 3017 - Death benefit

(a) 
(1) In the event of the service-connected death of any individual
(A) who
(i) is entitled to basic educational assistance under this chapter; or

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(ii) is on active duty in the Armed Forces and but for clause (1)(A)(i) or clause (2) of section 3011 (a) or clause (1)(A)(i) or (ii) or clause (2) of section 3012 (a) of this title would be eligible for such basic educational assistance; and
(B) who dies while on active duty or within one year after discharge or release from active duty,

the Secretary shall make a payment, subject to paragraph (2)(B) of this subsection, in the amount described in subsection (b) of this section to the person or persons described in paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection.

(2) 
(A) The payment referred to in paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be made to the person or persons first listed below who is surviving on the date of such individuals death:
(i) The beneficiary or beneficiaries designated by such individual under the individuals Servicemembers Group Life Insurance policy.
(ii) The surviving spouse of the individual.
(iii) The surviving child or children of the individual, in equal shares.
(iv) The surviving parent or parents of the individual, in equal shares.
(B) If no such person survives such individual, no payment shall be made under this section.
(b) The amount of any payment made under this section shall be equal to

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(1) the total of
(A) the amount reduced from the individuals basic pay under section 3011 (b), 3012 (c), 3018 (c), 3018A (b), 3018B (b), 3018C (b), or 3018C (e) of this title;
(B) the amount reduced from the individuals retired pay under section 3018C (e) of this title;
(C) the amount collected from the individual by the Secretary under section 3018B (b), 3018C (b), or 3018C (e) of this title; and
(D) the amount of any contributions made by the individual under section 3011 (e) or 3012 (f) of this title, less
(2) the total of
(A) the amount of educational assistance that has been paid to the individual under this chapter before the payment is made under this section; and
(B) the amount of accrued benefits paid or payable with respect to such individual in connection with this chapter.
(c) A payment under this section shall be considered to be a benefit under this title and, for purposes of section 3035 (b)(1), it shall be considered to be an entitlement earned under this subchapter.