Kansas Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Funding from the Firefighters Relief Fund 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, plus $10,000 for each dependent child under the age of 18, 23 if full-time student, plus a $10,000 bereavement benefit. If the firefighter was killed in a motor vehicle accident and was wearing a seat belt, spouse may receive an additional $20,000.

The Firefighters Relief Fund, generated by a 2 percent tax on fire and lightning insurance premiums, is administered by the Kansas Insurance Department.

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
Phone: (785) 296-3071
Toll-Free: (800) 432-2484
Fax: (785) 296-7805
E-mail: commissioner@ksinsurance.org
Website: www.ksinsurance.org


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

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

Weekly benefits are 66.67% of the employee’s average gross weekly wage, and caps do apply. Total compensation may not exceed $250,000 unless there are dependent children. 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. Currently, they would receive $546.00 per week.

Contact:
Division of Workers Compensation
Kansas Department of Labor
800 SW Jackson St., Suite 600
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: (785) 296-2996
Toll-Free: (800) 332-0353
Fax: (785) 296-0025
E-mail: wc@dol.ks.gov
Website: www.dol.ks.gov


FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum burial expenses up to $5,000.

Contact:
Division of Workers Compensation
Kansas Department of Labor
800 SW Jackson St., Suite 600
Topeka, KS 66612
Phone: (785) 296-2996
Toll-Free: (800) 332-0353
Fax: (785) 296-0025
E-mail: wc@dol.ks.gov
Website: www.dol.ks.gov


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 75% 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.

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 eight 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) 296-3421
Fax: (785) 296-0983
Website: www.kansasregents.org
Download application form

(Reference: KSA 75-4364)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kansas State Firefighters Association
JL Ellis, President
414 Smith Dr.
Colby, KS 67701
Phone: (785) 460-7785 (Home)
Cell: (785) 443-1310
E-mail: jlellis@st-tel.net
Website: www.ksffa.com

Fallen Hero Benefit (California Casualty and Auto) – Auto and home policy premium will be waived for the surviving partner/spouse for the remainder of the policy year in which the fatality occurred, and for the following year.

Woodmen of the World
Woodmen Tower
1700 Farnham St
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: (800) 225-3108
Website: www.woodmen.org
Woodmen of the World will pay a $10,000 fraternal death benefit if a qualified member is killed while performing his or her duties as a non-military first responder. To be eligible for this benefit, an individual must be a member in good standing of one of our other benefits.

First Responders include firefighters, EMT/paramedics, police or a person performing a supporting role to such individuals.


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.