Georgia Survivor Benefits

Updated September 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

The State of Georgia Indemnification Program provides a death benefit for public service employees. Designated beneficiary or estate receives $100,000 in equal installments over five years or in one lump sum that is reduced to its current value. Application due within 24 months of incident for a fulltime firefighter or within 12 months for a volunteer or part-time firefighter.

Death must have resulted from an injury or incident while on duty and when responding to a fire or emergency or while performing duties intended to protect life and property. Going to or from work shall not be considered in the line of duty. For volunteers, the following are not considered in the line of duty: going to or from the department or traveling from the scene of a fire, emergency, or other location where duties were being performed and completed.

Contact:

Georgia Indemnification Commission
Dept. of Administrative Services
Risk Management Services

200 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 1208, West Tower
Atlanta, GA 30334
Phone: (404) 656-6245
E-mail: Risk.Management@doas.ga.gov
Website: doas.ga.gov

(Reference: General Code of Georgia 45-9-85 & 45-9-86)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

66 2/3% of average weekly wages to designated beneficiary, minimum and maximum amounts apply. Spouse with no children is limited to a total amount of $220,000; benefits end if spouse remarries. Weekly benefits are payable for a maximum of 400 weeks from the date of injury.

Volunteer firefighters: Includes volunteer firefighters of any county or municipality under definition of employees, but only for services rendered in such capacity and only if the local governing authority provides coverage for volunteer firefighters.

Contact:

State Board of Workers’ Compensation
270 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303-1299
Phone: (404) 656-3818
Website: sbwc.georgia.gov

(Reference: General Code of Georgia 34-9-265 & 34-9-261)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Any firefighter who, while a dues-paying member of this fund, is rendered, by heart disease or respiratory disease, totally and permanently disabled so as to be unable to perform substantially all of the duties of the position to which he was regularly assigned and who, as a result of such disability, is separated from his work as a firefighter shall be entitled to the maximum monthly disability benefit in effect on the date of the filing of his application for such benefit until his disability ceases or until the happening of one or more of the events set forth in subsection (f) of this Code section, provided that: (1) Such firefighter makes application to the board for such benefit within 12 months of the date on which he is separated from his employment as a firefighter as a result of such total and permanent disability; and (2) Such firefighter shall have been a member in good standing of the fund for five consecutive years immediately prior to his application for disability.

(Reference: General Code of Georgia 47-7-102)

House Bill 146 requires fire departments to maintain insurance coverage for firefighters who have served 12 consecutive months on duty and are disabled and unable to continue to work as a result of cancer. Insurance benefits include a lump-sum benefit of $25,000 or $6,250 based on the severity of the cancer. If the firefighter is unable to perform job duties because of the diagnosis, a monthly benefit equal to 60 percent of the firefighter’s monthly salary at the time of diagnosis, or a monthly benefit of $5,000, will begin six months after the firefighter’s diagnosis and continue for 36 months. HB 146 also provides coverage for volunteer firefighters, who receive a monthly benefit of $1,500 per month for 36 months. The combined total of all benefits is capped at $50,000 per firefighter during a lifetime.


FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $7,500.

Contact:

State Board of Workers’ Compensation
270 Peachtree Street, NW
Atlanta, GA 30303-1299
Phone: (404) 656-3818
Website: www.sbwc.georgia.gov

(Reference: General Code of Georgia 34-9-265)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

In addition to pension benefits provided by the deceased’s department, the Georgia Firefighters’ Pension Fund gives $5,000 to the designated beneficiary of a plan member. Applies to presumptive heart or respiratory disease.

Contact:

Georgia Firefighters Pension Fund
2171 East View Parkway
Conyers, GA 30013-5756
Phone: (770) 388-5757
Toll-Free: (866) 374-0788
Fax: (678) 413-4227
Website: www.gfpf.org

(Reference: General Code of Georgia 47-7-103)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Public Safety Memorial Grant: Covers cost of attendance, minus other aid, for dependent children. Must be full-time undergraduate student enrolled in a Georgia public college, university, or technical college. Must be legal resident of Georgia and U.S. Citizen or permanent resident alien.

Contact for Both:

Georgia Student Finance Commission
2082 East Exchange Place
Tucker, GA 30084
Phone: (770) 724-9000
Toll-Free: (800) 505-GSFC
Fax: (770) 724-9089
Website: www.gafutures.org


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

The 200 Club of the Coastal Empire

P.O. Box 1922
Savannah, GA 31402
Phone: (912) 721-4418
Website: twohundredclub.org

Provides financial support and gifts to minor children, including college tuition.

Kids’ Chance of Georgia

2024 Powers Ferry Road
Atlanta, GA 30339
Phone: (770) 933-7767
E-mail: info@kidschancega.org
Website: kidschancega.org

Provides financial scholarships for children of deceased or catastrophically injured employees. Ages 16 – 25.

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.


HOMESTEAD EXEMPTION

The un-remarried spouse of a peace officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty will be entitled to a homestead exemption for 100% of the property value for as long as the applicant occupies the property as a homestead.

Exemptions include county M&O tax, county bond tax, school M&O tax, school bond tax and state tax. Note: Some counties offer additional exemptions from local homestead taxes. See county listing for contact information.

Applications:
Application for homestead exemptions should be filed with the tax commissioner in the county of residence.

(Reference: General Code of Georgia 48-5-48.4)

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.