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The Navy is now awarding death gratuities electronically.

The move was announced in a Sept. 3 Navy-wide message.

"Research has indicated that check payments, especially in large amounts, may be held by most financial institutions for seven to 10 business days," the message said. "EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) payments will improve the security and speed by which these funds will be made available to the eligible beneficiary."

Beneficiaries can still request a paper check, according to the message.

The first death gratuity processed electronically for a fallen sailor was on Aug. 12, according to the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

The Navy and DFAS reached an agreement on awarding the death gratuities on Aug. 5, a DFAS news release said.

"With the signing of this agreement, the Navy joins Army, Air Force and Marine Corps service components in providing family members the option for EFT," the news release said.

Beneficiaries who are not family members can also receive death gratuities electronically, according to DFAS.

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