Line-of-Duty Death Benefits
The Bureau of Finance and Risk 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 3 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:
- 7/1/2020 – 6/30/2021 $158,550.75
- 7/1/2019 – 6/30/2020 $149,942.55
7/1/2018 - 6/30/2019 $143,525.66
7/1/2017 - 6/30/2018 $138,420.71
7/1/2016 - 6/30/2017 $131,946.11
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
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 Finance and Risk Management
406 North Office Building
Harrisburg, PA 17125
Telephone: (717) 787-2492
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.