Alabama Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated November 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Benefit of $100,000, if death is accidental, deliberate, or a result of injuries received in the performance of duties. Death and disability payments for heart attacks and strokes caused by participating in emergency situations.

(Reference: Alabama Code SS 36-30-2 (House Bill 447) signed 4/26/06 by Governor)

Spouse does not receive benefit if voluntarily living apart from firefighter at time of death or if firefighter did not contribute to spouse’s support for more than 12 months preceding the injury that led to death. Otherwise, spouse receives death benefit. If no eligible spouse or children, other relatives may also be eligible to receive benefit if they regularly derived part of their support from the deceased at time of death. If there are no dependents or partial dependents, the parents are eligible for the benefit.

  • Delayed death, up to 10 years, qualifies for benefit. Application must be filed within a year from date of death.
  • Volunteers also eligible for total disability compensation of $100,000. Includes Alabama Forest Commission firefighters.
  • Survivors of Alabama merit system firefighters who are state employees are eligible for a benefit consisting of the firefighter’s previous year’s salary plus what has accumulated in his/her retirement account.
  • Death benefit payments received by beneficiaries of firefighters killed in the line-of-duty are exempt from paying state income tax.
    (Reference: House Bill 323/passed & signed)
  • Crime of murder included the death of a firefighter who dies while performing his or her duties as the consequence of the crime of arson.
    (Reference: House Bill 413/passed & signed)

Contact:
Alabama State Board of Adjustment
State Department of Finance
Alabama State Capitol
600 Dexter Avenue, Suite E 302
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 242-7175
Fax: (334)-242-2008
E-mail: bdadj@finance.alabama.gov
Website: bdadj.alabama.gov


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career firefighters: Benefit to one dependent is 50% of average weekly wage; benefit to two or more dependents is 66 2/3%. Benefits have a weekly minimum and maximum. Benefits payable for 500 weeks following line-of-duty death. Ceases upon remarriage of dependent.

Volunteer firefighters: Coverage for volunteer firefighters is not mandated. Local jurisdictions may elect to provide coverage.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation Division
Department of Industrial Relations
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, AL 36131
Phone: (334) 242-2868
Toll Free: (800) 528-5166
Website: http://dir.alabama.gov/wc/

Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments provides an Honor Guard to conduct funeral ceremonies that provide a fitting tribute to fallen members of the volunteer fire service.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation Division
Department of Industrial Relations
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, AL 36131
Phone: (334) 242-2868
Toll Free: (800) 528-5166
Website: dir.alabama.gov/wc

(Reference: AL-WC Act 25-5-60)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

A maximum of $3,000 is available for burial expenses.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation Division
Department of Industrial Relations
649 Monroe Street
Montgomery, AL 36131
Phone: (334) 242-2868
Toll Free: (800) 528-5166
Website: dir.alabama.gov/wc


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career firefighters: The Retirement System of Alabama is a defined benefit plan. If a member dies prior to retirement, death benefits are calculated and paid to the beneficiary(s) based on the member’s age, service credit, employment status and eligibility for retirement. The pre-retirement benefits the beneficiary(s) or estate will receive are outlined on page 12 of the ERS Employee Handbook. Generally, the benefit is the members contribution, total interest earned, plus an amount equal to the member’s salary for the prior fiscal year (October 1- Sept 30).

»View the ERS, Tier 1 Handbook (Members prior to January 1, 2013)

»View the ERS, Tier 2 Handbook (Members after January 1, 2013)

Disability Retirement (page 15-17 of the Handbook, see above) – If the career of and ERS member is cut short because of a permanent disability, the member may qualitfy for monthly disability benefits. These benefits are conditional based on time-in-service and the member must check with his or her benefits’ advisor.

Contact:
The Retirement Systems of Alabama
201 South Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (334) 517-7000
Toll Free: (877) 517-0020
Website: www.rsa-al.gov

(Reference: AL Retirement System Handbook, Page 12-17; Code of Alabama 1976, Title 36, Chapter 27)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Covers tuition, fees, books and supplies. No limit on the amount awarded for undergraduate study at any state college, state community college, or state technical college, except it may not exceed the cost of attendance. Survivor must have been under 21 years of age at the time of the firefighter’s death. Other special eligibility criteria may apply.

Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments awards $500.00 scholarships each year to four AAVFD members volunteer firefighters, their spouse, or dependent children

Contact:
Alabama Police and Firefighters Survivors Educational Assistance Program
Alabama Commission on Higher Education

Delivery Address:
100 North Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-3758
Phone: (334) 242-1998
Fax: (334)-242-0268
Website: www.ache.state.al.us/StudentAsst/Programs.htm

Mailing Address: P.O Box 302000
Montgomery, AL 36130-2000


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Similar benefits apply to eligible spouses. Spouse must not have remarried and must begin enrollment within five years of firefighter’s death.

Contact:
Alabama Police and Firefighters Survivors Educational Assistance Program
Alabama Commission on Higher Education

Delivery Address:
100 North Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130-3758
Phone: (334) 242-1998
Fax: (334)-242-0268
Website: www.ache.state.al.us/StudentAsst/Programs.htm

Mailing Address:
P.O Box 302000
Montgomery, AL 36130-2000


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Alabama Association of Volunteer Fire Departments
660 Adams Avenue, Suite 345
Montgomery, AL 36104
Phone: (888) 97-AAVFD or
(334) 262-2833
Website: www.aavfd.org
Provides $1,000 to the surviving spouse or children under 18 years of age, of an AAVFD member who dies in the line of duty. The Association will also provide $300 to a volunteer firefighter injured in the line of duty, plus an additional $200 for permanent disability. A limited number of scholarships are awarded each year.

Alabama Firefighters Association
P.O. Box 524
Trussville, AL 35173
Phone: (205) 482-6584
E-Mail: afa@alfire.com
Website: www.alfire.com
Provides a one-time $1,000 award to the dependents of full time professional firefighters. Assistance is also provided to obtain state benefits. Members are provided with a one-time accidental death or dismemberment payment of $15,000 based on an insurance policy purchased upon membership. This applies to career, volunteer and forestry members.

Legacy Outdoor Adventures Program
Alabama Wildlife Federation
3050 Lanark Road
Millbrook, AL 36054
Phone: (800) 822-9453
E-mail: awf@alabamawildlife.org
Website: www.alabamawildlife.org
Provides guided and supervised outdoor activities for children of Alabama’s fallen firefighters. Free and open to all children, 15 and younger, of firefighters who have died in the line of duty. Two or three events planned annually.

Kids’ Chance – Alabama Law Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 671
Montgomery AL 36101
Phone: (334) 269-1515
Website: www.alfinc.org/contact.cfm
Provides college scholarships to any worker in the state of Alabama who is killed or permanently disabled. Awards range from $500 to $2,500.

Woodmen of the World
Woodmen Tower
1700 Farnham St
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: (800) 225-3108
Website: www.woodmen.org
Woodmen of the World will pay a $10,000 fraternal death benefit if a qualified member is killed while performing his or her duties as a non-military first responder. To be eligible for this benefit, an individual must be a member in good standing of one of our other benefits. First Responders include firefighters, EMT/paramedics, police or a person performing a supporting role to such individuals.


 

Disclaimer: The material contained in the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation Survivor Benefits website is not the result of legal research, but rather is based on a scan of public documents. We have made every effort to be accurate and timely, but errors may exist. The material on this website is advisory only and should not be cited as evidence or proof that a benefit exists or that our facts are accurate. Always consult the decedent’s fire department for benefits assistance, or a benefits’ attorney. If, in the course of your own research, you see errors of fact, or new benefit information, please pass this information along to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.