National Suicide and Crisis Hotline - Dial 988 (Veterans: press 1)
Copline - An Officers’ Life Line - 1 (800) 267-5463
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration Helpline - 1 (800) 662-4357
National Hopeline Network - 1 (800) 442-4673
Veterans Crisis Line - 1 (800) 273-8255
FEMA HELPLINE - 1 (800) 621-3362
STATE LINE-OF-DUTY DEATH BENEFITS - State line-of-duty deaths benefits vary from state to state. Contact your State Workers’ Compensation Administration for further information.
FEDERAL BENEFITS - It could take up to 2 years for families to receive federal benefits.
PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS' BENEFITS ACT (PSOB) - The PSOB Act provides a benefit to the eligible survivors of a public safety officer whose death is the direct and proximate result of a traumatic injury sustained in the line of duty. The Act also provides the same benefit to a public safety officer who has been permanently and totally disabled as the direct result of a catastrophic personal injury sustained in the line of duty. The injury must permanently prevent the officer from performing any gainful work. (Benefit has been approved for quadriplegics and people existing in a comatose state).
Contact: 1 (888) 744-6513
SOCIAL SECURITY BENEFITS - Dependents may be eligible for social security benefits if the officer worked prior to service and paid into the social security system. A one-time death benefit payment plus monthly death benefits. (The surviving spouse must request the lump sum, one-time benefit and may be able to receive full benefits at age 65 if born on or before January 1, 1940 (age gradually increasing to 67 for widows or widowers born January 2, 1940 or later). Reduced benefits may be available as early as age 60.)
Documents Required: Marriage Certificate; Certified Death Certificate
Contact Phone: 1 (800) 772-1213
VETERANS BENEFITS (VA - Military Service) - Provides law enforcement officers who are veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces with a number of survivor’s benefits. Surviving spouses and children are entitled to certain honors and benefits including: honor guard, headstone/grave markers, American flag, death pension, funeral expense reimbursement, life insurance, and burial plot allowance. The plot allowance is NOT payable if the veteran is buried in a national cemetery.
Contact Phone: 1 (800) 827-1000
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Address: 810 Vermont Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20420
EXTERNAL BENEFITS - National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund (NLEOMF): May be entitled to have the deceased employee’s name added to the memorial wall in Washington, DC as a lasting memorial tribute.
Contact Phone: (202) 737-3400
National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund
Address: 901 E. Street NW, Ste. 100 Washington, DC 20004-2025
Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. - Survivors may be entitled to reimbursement of counseling services, financial assistance, grief seminars, and assistance in attending the National Police Week Conference. Also, provides educational assistance to surviving families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty.
Contact Phone: (573) 346-4911 / Toll Free: 1 (800) 784-2677/ Fax: (573) 346-1414
Address: Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc.
P.O. Box 3199
Camdenton, MO 65020
Office of Victim Compensation - This office established the Crime Victim Compensation Program nationally. All states receive Federal Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) funds from the Office of Victim Compensation to help support crime victim assistance and compensation programs. Any victim of violent crime may be eligible for crime victim benefits.
Please check your state for details by clicking the link below:
PERSONAL LIFE INSURANCE - A death benefit claim may be filed against any active life insurance policy for the covered claimant. Life insurance companies require only two forms to establish proof of a claim: a statement of claim, and a death certificate or attending physician's statement.
To expedite handling of insurance claims, please contact your local insurance agent or home office of the policy holder.
OTHER INSURANCES (Homeowners/Automobile Coverages) - Some homeowner insurance policies offer accidental death and dismemberment coverage. Contact the member’s homeowner’s insurance to determine if a paid-in-full rider was added to the home insurance policy.
LEGAL CLAIMS - If an officer is killed or critically injured during a motor vehicle accident, the officer’s personal insurance coverage may act as a secondary policy and provide benefits (ie., PIP or medical payments reimbursement). The survivor may also be able to file a claim against the violators’ insurance policy. (Seek legal advice on insurance regulations as provided by applicable State law).
By that same measure, if an officer is killed or critically injured on a residential premise, the officer may be able to file a claim against the violators’ homeowners insurance policy. (Seek legal advice on insurance regulations as provided by applicable State law).
EXTERNAL SUPPORT - If the deceased was a member of any union, service organization, business association, fraternal organization, or automobile club, the surviving family member should contact the group for information regarding insurance or other benefits available to survivors.
Additionally, the surviving family member should contact the deceased's place of employment regarding group life insurance coverage, pension fund contributions, credit union insurance and other benefits. Also, remember to check the deceased's hospital and surgical coverage to determine if the widow and the dependents are still eligible for benefits.
SURVIVOR LEGAL CONCERNS/TAXES
On May 22, 2015, the Don't Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act became effective. The Act adds Internal Revenue Code section 104(a)(6), which provides a specific exclusion from income for amounts paid:
by the Department of Justice as a public safety officer disability or survivor's benefit; or
under a state program that provides benefits for surviving dependents of a public safety officer who has died as the direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.
Payers should not file Form 1099-MISC to report the payments. The amounts are excluded from gross income and are not subject to any information reporting requirements.