Delaware Survivor Benefits

Updated September 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

For deaths arising out of and in the course of performing assigned duties or while traveling to or returning from an alarm or call, State pays designated beneficiary $200,000 in annual installments. No single annual payment shall exceed $40,000. If there is no spouse or dependent children, each parent to take 50% of insurance benefit if both are living. Upon the death of a member, inactive member, retired member or individual receiving a survivor’s pension, there shall be paid to the designated beneficiary or beneficiaries or, in the absence of a designated beneficiary, to the estate of the member, inactive member, retired member or survivor, a lump sum equal to the excess, if any, of the accumulated member contributions with interest over the aggregate of all pension payments if they have been made. Payments may not be subject to DE income tax or DE estate taxes. Covers enrolled firefighters, ladies auxiliary, volunteer ambulance and rescue company members, as well as the State Fire Marshal, Deputy Fire Marshals, and Fire Inspectors. The law also covers the Director and Senior and Field Instructors of the Delaware State Fire School.

Contact:

Delaware Insurance Commissioner
841 Silver Lake Boulevard
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 674-7300
Toll-Free: (800) 282-8611
Website: insurance.delaware.gov

(Reference: Title 18, Chapter 66 Line of Duty Death Benefits, Insurance Code sub section 6602)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Benefit is 66% of wages for spouses and 80% for a spouse and children. Spouse receives a two-year lump sum upon remarriage and weekly benefits cease. Children are eligible until age 18 or age 25 if full-time students.

Volunteer firefighters: Benefit is 2/3 of the firefighter’s wages from regular employment for spouses and 80% for spouse and children. Spouse receives a two-year lump sum upon remarriage and weekly benefits cease. Children are eligible until age 18 or age 25 if full-time students.

Contact:

Office of Workers’ Compensation
P.O. Box 9954
Wilmington, DE 19809-9954
Phone: (302) 761-8200
Website: dia.delawareworks.com/workers-comp/

(Reference: Title 18, Insurance Code)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $5,000 from Workers’ Compensation with expenses in excess of maximum if there are no dependents.

Contact:

Office of Workers’ Compensation
P.O. Box 9954
Wilmington, DE 19809-9954
Phone: (302) 761-8200
Website: dia.delawareworks.com/workers-comp

Volunteer firefighters: Burial expenses up to $7,000 for a member of a volunteer fire company, ladies auxiliary or volunteer ambulance and rescue company. Does not have to be a line of duty death to receive benefit. Member must have been an active member for at least 10 years of service.

Contact:

Insurance Coverage Office
Duncan Center, 3rd Floor
500 W. Loockerman St.
Suite 300 Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 739-3651
Phone: (302) 739-5345
Toll-Free: (877) 277-4185
Website: dhr.delaware.gov/inscov/forms/

(Reference: Title 18, Insurance Code/WC Law)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career firefighters: Covered under the Delaware County and Municipal Police/Firefighter Pension Plan. Amounts vary depending on several factors. In general, eligible survivor will be paid a survivor’s pension of one-half final average compensation. Addiitonal benefits if member was vested. Pension is payable to the spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, to unmarried children under age 18, or longer if disabled and incapable of self-support until age 22 if full-time student.

Additional benefits if member was vested. Pension is payable to the spouse or, if there is no surviving spouse, to unmarried children under age 18, until age 22 if full-time student, or longer if disabled and incapable of self-support.

Contact:

Office of Pensions
McArdle Building
860 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 1
Dover, DE 19904-2402
Phone: (302) 739-4208
Toll-Free: (800) 722-7300
Website: open.omb.delaware.gov

(Reference: 79 Del. Laws, c. 315, &0167; 10)

Volunteer firefighters: Covered under Delaware Volunteer Firemen’s Pension Plan. Designated beneficiary receives a lump sum death benefit equal to the excess, if any, of the accumulated contributions with interest over the aggregate. The amount of the monthly pension payable to an eligible member shall be $5 times years of credited service up to a maximum of 25 years.

Contact:

Office of Pensions
McArdle Building
860 Silver Lake Blvd., Suite 1
Dover, DE 19904-2402
Phone: (302) 739-4208
Toll-Free: (800) 722-7300
Website: open.omb.delaware.gov


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

State Treasurer pays for tuition of dependent children enrolled in a degree or certificate program at a Delaware college or university. Four-year maximum. Must be at least age 16 but not more than age 24.

Contact:

Delaware Higher Education Office
John G. Townsend Building
401 Federal Street
Dover, Delaware 19901
Phone: (302) 735-4000
Fax: (302) 739-4654
Website: www.doe.k12.de.us


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


HEALTHCARE BENEFITS

State Treasurer pays for health insurance for dependent children for covered persons who died in the line-of-duty after January 1, 2004, until said dependent children attain the age of 26 years. Should health insurance be provided by the federal government, Tricare or similar program, for any of these dependent children, the dependent children shall only be eligible for state group health coverage in the event of loss of coverage under the federal health insurance plan.

(Reference: Title 18, Chapter 66 Line of Duty Death Benefits, Insurance Code sub section 6602)

Contact:

Delaware Insurance Commissioner
841 Silver Lake Boulevard
Dover, DE 19904
Phone: (302) 674-7300
Toll-Free: (800) 282-8611
Website: insurance.delaware.gov


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Delaware Volunteer Firemen’s Association Foundation
Delaware Volunteer Firefighter’s Association

122A South Bradford Street
PO Box 1849
Dover, DE 19903
Phone: (302) 734-9390
Toll-Free: (877) 455-3832
Fax: (302) 734-9404
Website: www.dvfassn.com

The Foundation intends to provide assistance to members and families of those involved in the Delaware fire service, if needed to respond to the injury, illness or death of a member of the Delaware fire service. Check to see if benefits are available.

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.


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.