Illinois Survivor Benefits

Survivor Benefits

Updated October 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Pursuant to the Law Enforcement Officers, Civil Defense Workers, Civil Air Patrol Members, Paramedics and Firemen Compensation Act as amended in 1995, for deaths on or after January 1, 2003, the amount shall be the rate for the previous calendar year plus the percentage increase in the Consumer Price Index. This benefit is adjusted for cost of living on January 1 of each year. Allow 4-8 weeks for the benefit to be processed.

The surviving beneficiary of any State or local governmental law enforcement or public safety officer who is killed in the line of duty may, within one year, make a claim to the Illinois Court of Claims for the Survivor Compensation.

The benefit is payable to a designated beneficiary as designated by the public safety officer, or if none has been designated to survivors in the following order: (1) spouse, (2) children, (3) parents, (4) siblings or children of siblings. If there are no such persons, no compensation is payable.

An Application for benefits and a Statement of Supervising Officer must be filed within one year of the date of death.

Contact:

Court of Claims
630 S. College St
Springfield, IL 62756
Phone: (217) 782-7101

or

Contact:

Court of Claims
James R. Thompson Bldg.
100 W. Randolph., Ste. 10-400
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Phone: (312) 814-5010
Website: www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/court_of_claims/

Municipalities may also provide a death benefit of up to $15,000.

Contact: Local municipality for further details.

(Reference: Line of Duty Compensation Act – 820 ILCS 315/3)

Municipalities may also provide a death benefit of up to $15,000.

Contact: Local municipality for further details.

Cook County Pension Fund

This pension fund allows the designation of a beneficiary for a $1,000 death benefit.

Contact:

Cook County Pension Fund
70 W. Madison St., Suite 1925
Chicago, Illinois 60602
Phone: (312) 603-1200
Website: www.cookcountypension.com/retirees/death-benefits/


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

All first-aid, medical and hospital expenses connected with fatal injury paid. Benefit of 66 2/3% of deceased’s gross average weekly wage continues until spouse is compensated for 20 years; children attain age 18 and leave school; or when children attain age 25 if attending an accredited educational institution. Payments to spouse end at remarriage with a 2-year lump sum payment.

Volunteer firefighters: Income benefits are based upon the average weekly wage in their regular employment.

Contact:

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
4500 S. Sixth St. Frontage Road
Springfield, IL 62703-5118
Phone: (217) 785-7087
Toll-Free: (866) 352-3033
Website: www.iwcc.il.gov

(Reference: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act – 820 ILCS 305)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Covered conditions after serving 7 or more years: heart disease, tuberculosis, any disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, AIDS, hepatitis C, stroke, and cancer.

(Reference: Compiled Illinois Statutes 40 ILCS 5/6-151.1)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $8,000 provided through Workers’ Compensation payable to the surviving spouse or estate of a fallen public safety officer.

Contact:

Illinois Workers’ Compensation Commission
4500 S. Sixth St. Frontage Road
Springfield, IL 62703-5118
Phone: (217) 785-7087
Toll-Free: (866) 352-3033
Website: www2.illinois.gov/sites/iwcc/

(Reference: Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act – 820 ILCS 305)

Additionally, a burial benefit of up to a maximum of $10,000 is payable to the surviving spouse or estate of a law enforcement officer who is killed in the line of duty on or after January 1, 1999. This benefit is only paid when the family pays for the funeral/burial expenses. It is not paid to municipalities as reimbursement for expenses.

Contact:

Court of Claims
630 S. College St
Springfield, IL 62756
Phone: (217) 782-7101

or

Contact:

Court of Claims
James R. Thompson Bldg.
100 W. Randolph., Ste. 10-400
Chicago, Illinois 60601
Phone: (312) 814-5010
Website: www.cyberdriveillinois.com/departments/court_of_claims/

(Reference: Line of Duty Compensation Act – 820 ILCS 315/3.5)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

The annuity for the widow of a fireman whose death results from the performance of an act or acts of duty shall be an amount equal to 75% of the current annual salary attached to the classified position to which the fireman was certified at the time of his death. Widow’s, widower’s, and surviving children minimum annuity: $250 per month after July 1, 1981.

(Reference: Compiled Illinois Statutes 40 ILCS 5/6-140, 40 ILCS 5/6-141, & 40 ILCS 5/6-143.1)

Contact:

State Employees Retirement System (SERS)
Michael A. Bilandic Building
160 North LaSalle Street, Suite S200
Chicago, IL 60601
Phone: (312) 814-5853
Fax: (312) 814-5805
Website: srs.illinois.gov/SERS/home_sers.htm

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Plan

Benefits differ based on years of service. Additional death benefit of $3,000 for death of any members with 8 or more years of service.

Contact:

Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund Plan
2211 York Road, Suite 400
Oak Brook, IL 60523-2337
Phone: (800) 275-4673
Fax: (630) 368-5397
Website: www.imrf.org

» Benefits for Chicago Only

(Reference: Compiled Illinois Statutes Chapter 40 Act 5, Art 6 6-150; 6-151-1 Occupational)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

If you are the spouse or child of an Illinois police or fire officer who was killed or became at least 90 percent disabled in the line of duty, you may be eligible for the Grant Program for Dependents of Police or Fire Officers. This grant provides assistance toward college tuition and mandatory fees for undergraduate or graduate study at an ISAC-approved Illinois college. You may receive assistance for a maximum of the equivalent of four academic years (eight semesters or 12 quarters) of full-time enrollment. You do not need to be an Illinois resident at the time of enrollment to receive this grant.

Recipients attending approved public colleges in Illinois shall receive full payment of tuition and mandatory fees on their behalf. The grant will cover the difference in costs for courses taken at an out-of-district college that are not offered at a recipient’s in-district college. Recipients attending approved private colleges in Illinois shall receive payment of tuition and mandatory fees in an amount not to exceed the maximum grant payable to a student enrolled in the most expensive comparable program of study at a public college in Illinois. Mandatory fees are those assessed by a college to every full-time student for each term. Examples include fees for activities, facility operations, grants, health, registration, technology, transportation and others. The college determines fees that are considered mandatory.

Benefit shall continue until child’s 25th birthday.

Grant Program for Dependents of Police and Fire Officers:

Contact:

Illinois Student Assistance Commission
1755 Lake Cook Road
Deerfield, IL 60015-5209
Phone: (800) 899-4722
E-mail: isac.studentservices@isac.illinois.gov
Website: www.isac.org

(Reference: 820 Illinois Code 320 Section 15)

Same as for children, except for age restriction. Remarriage ends eligibility.

Contact:

Illinois Student Assistance Commission
1755 Lake Cook Road
Deerfield, IL 60015-5209
Phone: (800) 899-4722
E-mail: isac.studentservices@isac.illinois.gov
Website: www.isac.org

(Reference: 820 Illinois Code 320 Section 15)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Illinois Firefighters Association

P.O. Box 77
Glan Carbon, IL 62034
Phone: (618) 882-4783
Fax: (618) 882-7287
Website: www.illinoisfirefighters.org/member-benefits
The Illinois Firefighters Association(IFA) has an indemnity fund that pays $10 per day (up to $3000) for firefighters injured in the line of duty. For firefighters killed in the line of duty the payment is $3000. Departments must be members of the Indemnity Fund, current with dues to the IFA, and current with assessments to the Indemnity Fund to be covered.

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.

100 Club of Chicago

875 N. Michigan Ave, Suite 1351
Chicago, IL 60611
Phone: (312) 265-0920
Fax: (312) 929-4751
Website: www.100clubchicago.org

Each year the 100 Club will provide a number of grants to the biological, adopted and stepchildren of those law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS providers who have lost their lives in the line of duty. This includes all federal, state, county and local first responders stationed in Cook and Lake Counties. Grants may also be made to the surviving spouse of a 100 Club Hero.


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.