Colorado Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

None.


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career firefighters: Benefit is up to 91% of employee’s average weekly wage at time of death Benefits subject to Social Security benefit offsets. Upon remarriage, a spouse receives a two-year lump sum, after which benefits cease. Children compensated until age 18, or longer if disabled and incapable of self-support, or until age 21 if full-time students.

If there are no spouse or dependent children, other relatives such as parents, grandparents, sister or brother 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.

For members who have elected normal retirement or who are eligible for normal retirement the maximum survivor benefit is 70% of the retirement benefit at the time of death. This is payable to the qualified surviving spouse (and/or qualified surviving child). Survivors of a member who has not separated service and is eligible for a normal retirement and dies in the line of duty, are eligible for a supplemental benefit under the Statewide Death & Disability Plan to bring the combined benefit to 70% of salary at the time of death. Survivors of a member who dies while an active member and who is not eligible for normal retirement may be eligible for benefits under the Statewide Death & Disability Plan.

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: workers.comp@state.co.us
Website: www.coworkforce.com/dwc

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

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum burial allowance of $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: workers.comp@state.co.us
Website: www.coworkforce.com/dwc

(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 19, if unmarried; age 23 if unmarried and full-time student; 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: dola.helpdesk@state.co.us
Website: www.colorado.gov/cs

(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

Provides financial, legal, and other support for departments and families, including a LODD guide, and non-LODD guide, as well as scholarships for children and spouses. Supports both paid and volunteer members’ survivors.

Contact:
Colorado Fallen Firefighters Foundation
P.O. Box 470097
Aurora, CO 80047-0097
E-mail: CoFallenFF@aol.com
Website:www.coff.us

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.

Contact:
Kids Chance
Pinnacol Foundation Scholarship Program
7501 E. Lowry Blvd.
Denver, CO 80230
Phone: (303) 361-4000
Toll-Free: (800) 873-7242
Fax: (303) 361-5000
Website: www.pinnacol.com

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.

Contact:
Woodmen of the World
Woodmen Tower
1700 Farnham St
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: (800) 225-3108
Website: www.woodmen.org


COUNTY & LOCAL JURISDICTION BENEFITS

  • ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT
  • Adams County
    Updated March 2013

    Special District: This benefit applies to South Adams County Fire Protection District

    A $10,000 life insurance benefit is provided at no cost to all members. For more information, contact the South Adams County Fire Department.

    Contact:
    South Adams County Fire Department
    6550 E. 72nd Ave
    Commerce City, CO 80022
    Phone: (303) 288-0835


  • NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS
  • La Plata County

    Within first 24 hours, provides family with a $1,000 donation. Takes care of all family bills except the mortgage. Allots $2,000 per year for scholarships for each dependent attending a regional college. Covers survivors of fallen firefighters from Durango, Bayfield, and La Plata County.

    Contact:
    The Hundred Club of Durango
    Box 3146
    Durango, CO 81302
    Phone: (970) 247-1834

    Pueblo County

    Provides immediate financial assistance and works with department to determine if further assistance needed. Only for families living in Pueblo.

    Contact:
    The Hundred Club of Pueblo
    c/o Houston Construction Co.
    210 S. Victoria Avenue
    Pueblo, CO 81003
    Phone: (719) 544-2791
    Fax: (719) 545-2788


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.