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Line-of-Duty Death Benefits

 

The Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management administers two programs that provide benefits to eligible surviving family members of emergency responders, law enforcement and National Guard in the event of death in the line of duty.  By law, certification of death must be submitted within 4 years from the date of death to be considered eligible to file a claim. 

 

Act 101 - Emergency Responder and Law Enforcement Death Benefit

The Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act, commonly referred to as Act 101, provides for a one-time payment of death benefits to the surviving spouse, minor children, or parents of firefighters, ambulance or rescue squad members, and law enforcement officers killed in the performance of their duties. The death must be related to the performance of duties.

Under Act 101, the Commonwealth pays a benefit to the surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, to the minor children of the paid firefighter, ambulance service or rescue squad member or law enforcement officer who died as a result of the performance of their duty. If the political subdivision is paid the benefits, it is responsible for making payment to the beneficiaries. The benefit was set at $50,000 in 1994 and is adjusted annually for inflation using the Consumer Price Index. The benefit amount for the most recent five (5) Fiscal Years is as follows: 

  • 7/1/2016 - 6/30/2017   $131,946.11 
  • 7/1/2015 - 6/30/2016   $129,723.94 
  • 7/1/2014 - 6/30/2015   $127,476.53 
  • 7/1/2013 - 6/30/2014   $123,227.37 
  • 7/1/2012 - 6/30/2013   $118,498.46 
 

Act 51 - Killed-in-Service Benefit

Act 51 of 2009 provides for a monthly supplementary income benefit equal to the monthly salary of the paid law enforcement officer, ambulance service or rescue squad member, firefighter, certified hazardous material response team member or National Guard member, adjusted annually by the Consumer Price Index. The benefit is payable to the deceased's surviving spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, to the deceased's minor children under the age of 18.  If those children are attending college, they can receive the benefit up to the age of 23. 

 

File an Act 101 or Act 51 Claim

 

Claim for Death Benefits
Report of Death
Processing An Act 101/Act 51 Claim Guidelines  

 

The above-completed claim forms, supporting documentation and questions about Act 101 and Act 51 benefits should be referred to:
Department of General Services
Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management
406 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17125
Telephone: (717) 787-2492 

 

Additional Benefits

 

There are additional benefits, beyond those provided for in Act 101 and Act 51, available to the surviving spouse, children or parents of emergency responders, law enforcement and National Guard who die as a result of the performance of their duties.

 

 STATE BENEFITS

 

Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Pennsylvania's Workers' Compensation laws provide assistance with burial expenses and continuance of a portion of the deceased’s wages to a surviving spouse and/or children.  Anyone applying for Act 101 benefits must submit proof that a Workers’ Compensation Claim has been filed.  However, approval of an Act 101 claim is not contingent upon approval of a Workers’ Compensation claim.

For more information about this program and the application process, visit the Workers’ Compensation section of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s website or call the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation at (800) 482-2383.

Educational Assistance

Surviving children of firefighters, policemen, ambulance and rescue squad members, corrections officers, and active National Guard members killed in the line of duty may be entitled to fully paid tuition benefits through the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA), Postsecondary Education Gratuity Program.  Tuition benefits may be used to attend Pennsylvania community colleges, state-owned universities, and state-related colleges and universities.  Children must be 25 years of age or younger, residents of Pennsylvania, working toward an undergraduate degree and meet other requirements.

For more information about this program and the application process, visit PHEAA’s website regarding Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Programs or call PHEAA at (717) 720-2860. 

 

FEDERAL BENEFITS

 

Public Safety Officers’ Death and Disability Benefits

The U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance, administers death and disability benefits under the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Act of 1976.  The PSOB Act provides line-of-duty death benefits for public safety officers (i.e., law enforcement officers, firefighters, ambulance and rescue squad members, and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel and state, local and tribal emergency management and civil defense agency employees).  The PSOB Program also provides a benefit to public safety officers who have been permanently and totally disabled by a catastrophic personal injury sustained in the line of duty, if that injury permanently prevents the officer from performing any gainful work.

Visit the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits website for information about the program, or call the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program at (888) 744-6513.

Educational Assistance

The PSOB program, under the Public Safety Officers’ Educational Assistance (PSOEA) Act, provides higher educational assistance for spouses and children of federal, state, and local public safety officers killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty.

Visit the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits website for information about the program, or call the Bureau of Justice Assistance, Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program at (888) 744-6513.