info@lawenforcementfund.com 4094 Majestic Lane, #378 Fairfax, VA 22033

Resources

Additional Resources:

Know your assets: a personal financial diary will help identify and track your benefits and other important information. An example can be found by clicking here.

The Florian Foundation can help with estate planning for Public Safety workers.

Basics:

Handling your legal and financial affairs is a personal matter.

Some basics to keep in mind are:

• Consult legal assistance

• Consult financial planning assistance

• Have a current will

• Review the named beneficiary in your life, health and accident insurance policies annually

• Keep insurance papers, your will and other important legal documents in a secure place, i.e., freezer (in a sealed plastic zip lock bag) or safety deposit box

• Leave specific final instructions for interring your remains

Federal Benefits:

Public Safety Officer Benefit – PSOB

• Paid upon the death or total and permanent disability from injuries sustained in the line of duty

• $350,079 is paid to a surviving spouse if there are no children

• If children, ½ to the child or children in equal shares and ½ to the spouse

• If no spouse, paid to the child or children in equal shares

• If no spouse and no eligible children, the benefit shall be paid to the individual designated by the officer under his/her most recently executed life insurance policy

• You cannot name your own beneficiaries

• Child is defined as any natural, illegitimate, adopted or posthumous child or step child who is 18 or younger, 19-22 in school, 19 or older and incapable of self support because of a physical or mental disability

• State and local benefits are not reduced by the PSOB and it cannot be subject to execution or attachment by creditors.

Federal Workers Compensation for Non-Federal Law Enforcement Officers:

• Benefits may be provided to an officer killed while engaged in the apprehension or attempted apprehension of a person who has committed a crime against the US or who is being sought by a law enforcement authority of the US

• Also available to those killed while engaged in the lawful prevention or lawful attempt to prevent the commission of a crime against the US

Social Security:

• Paid to a surviving spouse at age 60 or over or at any age caring for children under 16 or disabled

• Unmarried children under 18

• Dependant parents age 62 or older

• Surviving divorced spouse at age 60 who was married to the deceased for 10 years and who is not eligible for an equal or higher personal benefit or at any age, if caring for a child under 16 or disabled

• Each surviving dependent is entitled to a percentage of the amount you would have received had the deceased lived to retirement age, or, if already retired, the amount the deceased was receiving

• $255, one time payment, for burial costs

Commonwealth of VA Benefits:

Police and Public Safety Officer Benefit

• $75,000 for line of duty death

• $25,000 for death from a disease presumed* to have been acquired in the line of duty

• Paid to the surviving spouse

• If no surviving spouse, paid to the estate

Retirement:

• Accumulated contributions

• In the case of line of duty death, a supplemental retirement allowance is paid through the VA Workers Compensation Act

Education Benefits:

• Free tuition and required fees for children (ages 16-25) and surviving spouses of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty

• For undergraduate study only

• At any public institution of higher education in VA

• Based on acceptance into that institution

Health Benefits:

• Effective July 1, 2000, Virginia will pay the health insurance benefits for the surviving spouse and dependent children of any law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty

Workers’ Compensation:

• If death results, within 9 years, from an accident or illness* incurred in the line of duty

• Dependents wholly dependent on the deceased’s earnings for support at the time of the accident shall receive a weekly payment

• Equal to 2/3 his average weekly wages, but not more than 100% of the average weekly wage of the Commonwealth – $451

• For a period of 500 weeks from date of injury

• Burial expenses not exceeding $2000

• Transportation expenses for the deceased not exceeding $500

Veterans’ Benefits:

• Available for anyone who has served in the US Armed Forces

• Death pension payable to low-income widows and children of wartime veterans who have died of causes not related to their military service

• Funeral expenses up to $300 plus $150 for burial or interment

• National Service Life Insurance

• Servicemen’s Group Life Insurance

• Veteran’s Group Life Insurance

• National Guard Group Life Insurance

* presumptive clause amended July 1, 2000 to include several forms of cancer.

Other Sources of Benefits:

• Personal life insurance

• Employer provided life insurance (if available by your agency) – 1 to 3 times your salary

• Professional associations

• NRA provides a benefit of $25,000 for member law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty or killed feloniously

• National Sheriffs’ Association provides a $3000 accidental death or dismemberment policy for its members

• Law Enforcement Benevolent Fund of Northern Virginia provides its members with an immediate death benefit of at least $15,000, (as of 09/01-2007 the benefit is $17,500)

• Personal credit cards – most carry a $1000 accidental death or dismemberment policy sometimes with a supplemental travel insurance policy

• The Taser Foundation offers line of duty death benefits for law enforcement officers.

There are several organizations who offer expertise and counseling to survivors in the event of a line of duty death:

• COPS – Concerns of Police Survivors offers a variety of services, including benefit-processing consultation, survivor group outings for surviving spouses as well as for
surviving children. They are the organizer of most of the events held in DC during National Police Week

• VA Public Safety Foundation

• VA State Employee Assistance Service

• HEROES, Inc – which also provides $3500 for immediate emergency expenses and offers a scholarship program

A Personal Financial Diary is a comprehensive guide to provide assistance to surviving family members and is available upon request. The most important thing is to keep it up to date. At a minimum, keep all beneficiary information up to date. There could be not much worse than having a divorced spouse provided for and a current spouse “forgotten” because beneficiary information was not updated. Keep all emergency contact information updated. It would be more than a tragedy for that same current spouse not to be notified in the case of a death or an accident because the emergency contact information is years out of date.