Colorado Survivor Benefits

Updated June 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

None.


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career firefighters: Survivors are entitled to 66 2/3 of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage (AWW), not to exceed a maximum of ninety-one percent of the state Average Weekly Wage per week for accidents occurring on or after July 1, 1989, and not less than a minimum of twenty-five percent of the applicable maximum per week.

Spouse receives a two-year lump sum payment upon remarriage. Children are compensated until age 18, or beyond 18 if physically or mentally seabed, or until age 21 if full-time students.

If there are no spouse or dependent children, other relatives such as parents, grandparents, siblings may be eligible for partial benefits which can be paid up to six years. If the deceased is under age 21 with no dependents, a payment of $15,000 is payable to the parents of the deceased.

Volunteer firefighters: Employee definition includes all members of volunteer fire departments while they are actually performing duties and while engaged in organized drills, training, and practice necessary to perform their duties. The rate of compensation of persons accidentally killed or injured while serving as a volunteer firefighter shall be at the maximum rate.

In Colorado, the Division of Worker’s Compensation does not pay benefits on a claim. Employers obtain Workers’ Compensation insurance from private insurance companies who pay benefits. The Colorado Division of Worker’s Compensation oversees claims and provides mediation services.

Contact:

Division of Workers’ Compensation
Department of Labor and Employment

633 17th Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80202-3660
Phone: (303) 318-8700
Toll Free: (888) 390-7936
Fax: (303) 318-8710
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.colorado.gov/cdle


COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Death, disability, or impairment of health of a firefighter of any political subdivision who has completed five or more years of employment as a firefighter, caused by cancer of the brain, skin, digestive system, hematological system gerontological system and resulting from his or her employment as a firefighter, shall be considered an occupational disease.

Contact:

Division of Workers’ Compensation
Department of Labor and Employment

633 17th Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80202-3660
Phone: (303) 318-8700
Toll Free: (888) 390-7936
Fax: (303) 318-8710
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.colorado.gov/cdle

(Reference: Colorado Reserved Statutes 8-42-114)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum burial allowance is $7,000.

Volunteer Firefighters: May also receive an additional funeral benefit of not less than $100.

Contact:

Division of Workers’ Compensation
Department of Labor and Employment

633 17th Street, Suite 400
Denver, CO 80202-3660
Phone: (303) 318-8700
Toll Free: (888) 390-7936
Fax: (303) 318-8710
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.colorado.gov/cdle

(Reference: Colorado Reserved Statutes 8-42-114)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career firefighters: Covered by the Fire and Police Pension Association that administers the benefits on behalf of the state for the statewide death and disability plan available for full-time firefighters. Applies to a member who dies as a direct or proximate result of an injury or occupational disease.

For deaths on or after October 15, 2002, a surviving spouse, with or without children, is eligible for monthly benefits of 70% of the monthly base salary being paid to the firefighter immediately before the death. Benefits to a spouse are payable for life. Off duty death survivor benefits are 40% for spouse and higher for spouse with dependents.

If there is no surviving spouse, this benefit is paid to eligible children if they were living in the firefighter’s home at the time of death. The total amount depends upon the number of eligible children. Children are eligible to receive benefits until age 23 if unmarried or no age limit if incapable of self-support.

If the member’s death occurs after the member is eligible for normal retirement, under a defined benefit or a hybrid plan or 25 years of service and age 55 under a money purchase plan, the survivor benefit paid to the surviving spouse and/or dependent children is the difference between 70% of the base salary and the survivor benefit payable from the member’s normal retirement plan.

On-duty survivor benefits are free from state and federal income taxes in the event that a member’s death is determined by the FPPA Board to have occurred while on-duty or as a result of occupational disease. As of 2006, Colorado Springs Fire and Police Pension plan is part of the Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado (see below).

Contact:

Fire and Police Pension Association of Colorado
5290 DTC Parkway, Suite 100
Greenwood Village, CO 80111
Phone: (303) 770-3772
Toll-Free: (800) 332-3772
Fax: (303) 771-7622
Website: www.fppaco.org

Volunteer firefighters: Dependents receive a $25,000 one-time accidental death benefit through the State of Colorado Volunteer Firefighter Accidental Death, Dismemberment and Disability Insurance Program, as part of the Volunteer Fire Fighters Pension Act.

Contact:

Division of Local Government
Executive Director’s Office
1313 Sherman Street, Room 518
Denver, CO 80203
Phone: (303) 866-4904
Fax: (303) 866-4317
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://www.colorado.gov/dola

(Reference: See member handbook on website and particularly pages 7-8)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Benefit covers tuition and on-campus room and board at state-funded colleges or universities toward first bachelor’s degree or certificate of completion. Benefits may not extend beyond six years of the date of enrollment. When attending a private Colorado institution, a survivor is eligible for amount charged at a comparable state college or university. At an out-of-state institution, a survivor is eligible for tuition equivalent to that at a comparable Colorado public institution. To remain eligible, student must achieve and maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above, based on a scale of 4.0.

Contact:

Colorado Commission on Higher Education
Colorado Dependents Tuition Assistance Program

1560 Broadway, Suite 1600
Denver, CO 80802
Phone: (303) 866-2723
Fax: (303) 866-4266
Website: www.highered.colorado.gov


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kids Chance

Pinnacol Foundation Scholarship Program
7501 E. Lowry Blvd.
Denver, CO 80230
Phone: (303) 361-4000
Toll-Free: (800) 873-7242
Fax: (303) 361-5775
Website: www.pinnacol.com

Provides scholarship assistance to the natural, adopted, step-child or full dependent of a worker killed or permanently injured in a compensable work-related accident during the course and scope of employment with a Colorado-based employer and entitled to receive benefits under the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act. The applicant must be between the ages of 16 and 25 at the time of application and must demonstrate substantial financial need.

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 & 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.