Death Benefits Law and Legal Definition

Death benefits are proceeds paid to a beneficiary under a statute, an annuity or policy when a person dies. State statutes, which vary by state, often provide for payment of death benefits to families of employees, such as police officers, who die in the line of duty. Federal statutes also govern death benefits. For example, the Air Force pays a monthly annuity to the surviving spouse or, in some cases, eligible children, of a Reserve Component member who dies and has completed the satisfactory years of service that qualified the member for retired pay at age 60.