Kansas Survivor Benefits

Updated September 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Funding from the Firefighters Relief Act supports the families of Kansas’s firefighters who are injured, disabled, or killed on the job through the purchase of annuities. As of 2005, the surviving spouse of a firefighter is entitled to a $100,000 death benefit. If the firefighter was killed in a motor vehicle accident and was wearing a seat belt, spouse may receive an additional $20,000.

Survivors must contact the local Firefighter Relief Association to which the decedent belonged to obtain benefits.

Contact:

Kansas Insurance Department
420 SW 9th Street
Topeka, KS 66612-1678
Phone: (785) 296-3071
Toll-Free: (800) 432-2484
E-mail: commissioner@ks.gov
Website: www.ksinsurance.org


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Death benefits for public safety officers are paid up to the maximum weekly benefit.

Weekly benefits are 66 2/3% of the employee’s average gross weekly wage. Total compensation may not exceed $300,000. All medical and hospital costs related to the fatal injury are covered. Spousal benefits continue upon remarriage.

Initial payment of $40,000 made immediately to the surviving legal spouse or wholly dependent children or divided among them with 50% to the spouse and 50% to the children. Children eligible until age 18, to age 23 if full-time students, or longer if disabled and incapable of self-support.

Volunteer firefighters: Treated as employees and covered if death occurs in line of duty or while on-duty, including training. Compensation is based on usual wages paid to employees for similar services.

Contact:

Division of Workers Compensation
Kansas Department of Labor

205 S 4th St, Suite M
Manhattan, KS 66502
Phone: (785) 296-4000
E-mail: kdol.wc@ks.gov
Website: www.dol.ks.gov

(Reference: Kansas Workers’ Compensation Laws & Regulations, 44-510b)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

For any member after five years of credited service, there shall be a rebuttable presumption, that any death or disability resulting from a heart disease or disease of the lung or respiratory tract or cancer, except in the event that the member ceases to be a contributing member as a service-connected disability for a period of six months or more and then again becomes a contributing member, the provision relating to death or disability resulting from a heart disease, disease of the lung or respiratory tract or cancer as provided in this legislation shall not apply until such member has agin become a contributing member for a period of not less than two years or unless dlear and precise evidence that heart disease, disease of the lung or respiratory tract or cancer as provided in the law was in fact occasioned by an act of duty as a fireman.

Contact:

Division of Workers Compensation
Kansas Department of Labor

205 S 4th St, Suite M
Manhattan, KS 66502
Phone: (785) 296-4000
E-mail: kdol.wc@ks.gov
Website: www.dol.ks.gov

(Reference: Kansas Workers’ Compensation Laws & Regulations, 44-510b)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum burial expenses up to $5,000.

Contact:

Division of Workers Compensation
Kansas Department of Labor

205 S 4th St, Suite M
Manhattan, KS 66502
Phone: (785) 296-4000
E-mail: kdol.wc@ks.gov
Website: www.dol.ks.gov

(Reference: Kansas Workers’ Compensation Laws & Regulations, 44-510b)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career firefighters: If a member of Kansas Police and Firemen’s Retirement System dies from an on-the-job accident, spouse receives a monthly benefit of 50% of member’s final average salary for the rest of the spouse’s life. Each unmarried child under age 18, or under age 23 if full-time student, receives 10% of the member’s final average salary. Total family benefit limited to 90% of final average salary. Children’s benefits continue until they reach age 18 or age 23 if full-time student.

Benefits are not included in gross income for federal tax purposes. The state of Kansas offers optional group life insurance with coverage amounts ranging from $5,000 to $250,000. Check to see if firefighter participated in optional group policy through the state.

Presumptive legislation: Service-connected conditions including heart disease, disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, or cancer which may, in general, result from exposure to heat, radiation or a known carcinogen.

Contact:

Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPFRS)
611 South Kansas Avenue, Suite 100
Topeka, KS 66603-3869
Phone: (785) 296-6166
Toll-Free: (888) 275-5737
E-mail: kpers@kpers.org
Website: www.kpers.org


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Dependent children of public safety officer who died as a result of injury in the line-of-duty pay no tuition or mandatory fees for up to ten semesters in Kansas post-secondary educational institutions. Student responsible for all other charges. No age limitation; student must have been a dependent at the time of death. Dependents of firefighters who died prior to effective date of legislation in 1996 are eligible.

Contact:

Kansas Board of Regents
1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 520
Topeka, KS 66612-1368
Phone: (785) 430-4240
E-mail: scholars@ksbor.org
Website: www.kansasregents.org


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Same as children.

Contact:

Kansas Board of Regents
1000 SW Jackson St., Suite 520
Topeka, KS 66612-1368
Phone: (785) 430-4240
E-mail: scholars@ksbor.org
Website: www.kansasregents.org


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

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.


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.