Updated September 2018
ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT
$100,000 death benefit to spouse of state of Connecticut firefighters with more than one child, including heart attacks in some instances. $50,000 to remaining spouse or spouse with one child. As of 2007, volunteer firefighters can be eligible for a $200,000 death benefit.
On July 1, 2007, The Connecticut Interlocal Risk Management Agency (CIRMA) doubled the Living and Death benefit limits and expanded coverage of its Volunteer Accident Insurance program–the program to provide accident insurance coverage at no cost to its workers’ compensation member volunteer rescue workers. The death benefit for volunteer members is now $200,000. Beneficiaries receive a full $200,000 for a death resulting from an accident or from a covered illness contracted on duty. Up to $50,000 of the death benefit payment may be accelerated for a person diagnosed with a terminal condition. A seatbelt benefit provides an additional $20,000 if the insured is killed while wearing a seatbelt. Death benefit handbook posted on website.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities
900 Chapel Street, 9th Floor
New Haven, CT 06510
Phone: (203) 498-3000
Fax: (203) 562-6314
Career firefighters: 75% of employee’s average weekly earnings payable to spouse with children. Minimums and maximums apply. Annual cost-of-living adjustment. Cumulative payments cannot exceed 100% of weekly earnings. Benefits offset by Social Security. Public Act 07-11 requires municipalities to continue to provide benefits to spouse of a paid firefighters who dies in the line of duty even if the spouse remarries; children until age 18, until age 22 if full-time student, or longer if disabled and incapable of self-support. Benefit continues to spouse until remarriage.
Volunteer firefighters: Active members of volunteer fire departments or companies are construed to be employees of the municipality for which they render services and shall be compensated according to state workers’ compensation law. If injured while engaged in fire duties, any active volunteer may collect benefits based on the salary of regular employment or the state average production wage, whichever is greater.
COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES
Connecticut’s Heart and Hypertension Act This Act is separate from the Workers’ Compensation Act. The Heart and Hypertension Act is codified in Connecticut General Statutes Section 7-433c.
Connecticut’s Heart and Hypertension Act is a separate compensation program for police officers and firefighters with hypertension or heart disease. The purpose of this Act is to permit a police officer or firefighter who develops hypertension or heart disease after beginning employment to recover benefits without having to prove that the problem is job related. To qualify for benefits under the Heart and Hypertension Act, one must be a uniformed member of a municipal fire department or a regular member of a paid municipal police department who was hired before July 1, 1996. Effective July 1, 2009, Public Act No. 08-61 provides a rebuttable presumption that a “cardiac emergency” is compensable for regular members of police and fire departments or constable, hired on or after July 1, 1996.
Presumptive Legislation: For the purpose of adjudication of claims for payment of benefits under the provisions of chapter 568 of the general statutes, a uniformed member of a paid municipal or volunteer fire department, a regular member of a paid municipal police department or constable, as defined in section 31-294i of the general statutes or a member of a volunteer ambulance service shall be eligible for such benefits for any disease arising out of and in the course of employment, including, but not limited to, hepatitis, meningococcal meningitis, tuberculosis, Kahler’s Disease, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and prostate or testicular cancer that results in death or temporary or permanent total or partial disability.
Maximum burial benefit of $4,000.
Local Police Officer & Firefighter Survivor’s Benefit Fund provides benefits to survivors of members covered by the program. Spouse receives 30% of firefighter’s compensation. Spouse with children receives more compensation up to a total of 60%. Spouse is eligible until death or remarriage. Children eligible until age 18.
Contact the municipality for further information on this benefit.
Connecticut State Employees Retirement System
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 702-3300
EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN
Tuition waived in the Connecticut University System, a regional community-technical college or the University of Connecticut. This applies to the children of both volunteer and paid firefighters.
EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE
NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS
Hundred Club of Connecticut
Provides an initial death benefit of $10,000, special financial assistance, and annual savings bond for children until age 18. Also offers a comprehensive college scholarship up to $25,000 a year for spouse and children. Scholarship covers tuition, and other expenses. Beginning at age seven, each student eligible to receive a complete computer system. Money is available to help children ages 5-16 to attend summer camp. Under The Fixed Indebtedness Program, the board may provide financial relief related to mortgage and other debts.
Connecticut State Firefighters Association, Inc.
34 Perimeter Road
Windsor Locks, CT 06096-1069
Phone: (860) 627-6363
Toll-Free: 877-5CT-FIRE (In-state)
Fax: (860) 654-1889
Provides up to $15,000 benefit for survivors of Connecticut State Firefighters Association, Inc. members. In addition, weekly benefit of $105 per child until age 18.
The International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
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.
HEALTH INSURANCE & TAX ABATEMENT
Survivor Health Insurance: Surviving spouses & dependent children, under age 18, of municipal and state employees, including firefighters, who die from injuries received in the course of their employment, get state health insurance coverage, provided they are not otherwise eligible for another health insurance plan.
Office of the State Comptroller
State of Connecticut
55 Elm Street
Hartford, CT 06106
Phone: (860) 702-3300
Contact: Director of Retirement and Benefits Services at (860) 702-3481.
Tax Abatement: Municipalities may abate all or a portion of the property taxes due to real property occupied as the principal residence of the surviving spouse of a firefighter who dies in the line of duty. Check with your local government to see of this applies.
FUNERAL & CREMATION BENEFITS
Phone: (800) 343-4464
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)
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
- Fairfield County Survivor Benefits
- Hartford County Survivor Benefits
- New Haven County Survivor 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.