Arkansas Survivor Benefits

Updated March 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Up to $200,000: $50,000 for deaths related to official duties and an additional up to $150,000 if killed in an incident related to responding, engaging in, or returning from a fire. Full payment to spouse and/or children under age 22. Lesser amount to parents if no surviving spouse or children. Additional benefits paid in three annual installments. Covers State Forestry and Arkansas Fire Training Academy employees and firefighters at Camp Robinson and Fort Chaffee. Volunteer firefighters are eligible for the award.

Compensation for death or disability of firefighters from occupational diseases

Includes, firefighters who die from the following cancers including death from leukemia, lymphoma, mesothelioma, and multiple myeloma and cancer of the brain, digestive tract, urinary tract, liver, skin, breast, cervical, thyroid, prostate, testicles, or a cancer that has been found by research and statistics to show higher incidences of occurrences in firefighters than in the general population, if he or she was exposed to a known carcinogen as determined by the Department of Heath with consideration to the findings of the International Agency for Research on Cancer while in the official line of duty. [Title 21-5-7-705(a)]

Applies also to volunteer firefighters.

The Attorney General’s office determines exact amounts of benefits.

Contact:

State Claims Commission
101 E. Capitol Avenue, Suite 410
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 682-1619
Fax: (501) 682-2823
Website: arclaimscommission.arkansas.gov

(Reference: Arkansas annotated code 19-10-201 Act 839)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career firefighters: Spouse receives 35% of wages earned at time of death with weekly minimum and maximum; spouse with children receives an additional 15% per child, not to exceed a total of 65%. If spouse remarries, weekly benefits cease. Spouse will receive two-year lump sum. Children receive benefits until age 18, beyond if physically or mentally disabled; eligible to age 25 if full-time student. Benefit cannot exceed 662/3 of maximum deceased employee’s Average Weekly Wage.

Volunteer firefighters: Deemed county employees so survivors receive minimum level compensation. Survivors also receive death benefits in same manner as regular employees. Arkansas Death and Permanent Total Disability Trust Fund (Arkansas Code Annotated, § 11-19-509) assumes beneficiary liability after Workers’ Compensation pays $75,000.00.

Contact:

Workers’ Compensation Commission
P.O. Box 950
324 Spring Street
Little Rock, AR 72203-0950
Phone: (501) 682-3930
Toll Free: (800) 622-4472
Website: www.awcc.state.ar.us

(Reference: Workers’ Comp ARKLEG Statutes 11-9-527; 14-28-102)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

A maximum of $6,000 is available for burial expenses.

Contact:

Workers’ Compensation Commission
P.O. Box 950
324 Spring Street
Little Rock, AR 72203-0950
Phone: (501) 682-3930
Toll Free: (800) 622-4472
Website: www.awcc.state.ar.us


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

For members of Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System (LOPFI). LOPFI is a statewide defined benefits system for police officers and firefighters.

If a member dies prior to retirement, a benefit may be payable to spouse and dependent children based on criteria including years of credited service.

Career firefighters: If duty-related death occurs before age 55 with any amount of service, credit determined as if deceased has accrued 25 years of service. Spousal benefit computed as if employee had retired; monthly benefit equal to 50% of the amount firefighter would receive. Benefit for dependent children based on several factors.

Volunteer firefighters: If duty-related death, service credit is determined as if the member has accrued 25 years of service. Volunteer service is indexed. Spousal benefit computed as if employee had retired; monthly benefit equal to 50% of the amount volunteer firefighter would receive. Benefit for dependent children based on several factors.

Disability Benefits: Any active LOPFI member who becomes totally and permanently disabled from their duties is eligible for disability retirement upon meeting established criteria. Check with local jurisdiction or your department’s benefits’ officer.

Contact:

LOPFI
620 W. 3rd Street, Suite 200
Little Rock, AR 72201-2223
Phone: (501) 682-1745
Toll Free: (866) 859-1745
Fax: (501) 682-1751
Website: www.lopfi-prb.com

(Reference: LOPFI Handbook 2018 pages 15-17)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Law Enforcement Officer’s Dependents’ Scholarship. Applies to full-time or volunteer firefighters, EMTs, and state forestry firefighters.

Scholarship for 8 semesters at any state-supported college or university if the student has a 2.0 or above on the 4.0 GPA scale. Up to 4 semesters may be at a technical institute. Does not cover cost of books, food, school supplies, materials and fees for extracurricular activities. Benefit available until age 23.

Contact:

Arkansas Department of Higher Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371-2000
Website: www.adhe.edu


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Same as for children, except for age limit. If spouse remarries, benefits cease at the end of the semester in which remarriage occurs.

Contact:

Arkansas Department of Higher Education
423 Main Street, Suite 400
Little Rock, AR 72201
Phone: (501) 371-2000
Website: www.adhe.edu


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kid’s Chance of Arkansas

Website: www.kidschancear.org

A scholarship program for children of workers’ killed or left permanently and totally disabled by job-related injuries or illnesses that are covered under the Arkansas workers’ compensation laws.

Arkansas State Firefighters Association

Attn: Bo Higgenbothem
Phone: 870-364-4134
E-Mail: [email protected]

Provides a Firefighter AD&D accident policy. Contact ASFA for details specific to the deceased firefighter.

The International Association of Fire Fighters

1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
Website: client.prod.iaff.org/#contentid=1743

The W. H. “Howie” McClennan scholarship provides financial assistance for sons, daughters or legally adopted children of IAFF Union Members killed in the line of duty planning to attend a university, accredited college or other institution of higher learning. Scholarship amount is $2,500 per year, renewable up to 4 consecutive years.


FUNERAL AND CREMATION BENEFITS

Dignity Memorial

Phone: (800) 343-4464
Website: www.dignitymemorial.com

Dignity Memorial is a consortium of funeral, cremation and cemetery providers across the United States and Canada. They have a Public Servants Program for first responders and emergency services workers. Dignity provides these services, at no cost, for career and volunteer firefighters who are killed in the line of duty. There is a location finder per state on the website, and funeral directors are encouraged to contact Dignity regarding the first responder program.

Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc.

2913 Gardner Road
Broadview, IL 50155
Phone: 708-681-7040 (Terry Whitlock)
Website: www.wilbert.com

Wilbert provides complimentary burial vaults (including urns vaults) for fallen law enforcement officers and firefighters through 193 licensee locations. Funeral directors should contact Wilbert for information on obtaining vaults.


COUNTY & LOCAL JURISDICTION BENEFITS


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.