Kentucky Survivor Benefits

Updated October 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Pursuant to KRS 61.315 a firefighter who has lost their life as a direct result of an act in the line of duty shall receive a lump-sum payment of eighty thousand dollars ($80,000) if there are no surviving children, which sum shall be paid by the State Treasurer from the general expenditure fund of the State Treasury. If there are surviving children and a surviving spouse, the payment shall be apportioned equally among the surviving children and the spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment shall be made to the surviving children, eighteen (18) or more years of age. For surviving children less than eighteen (18) years of age, the State Treasurer shall pay thirty-five thousand dollars ($35,000) to the surviving children and hold forty-five thousand dollars ($45,000) in trust divided into equal accounts at appropriate interest rates for each surviving child until the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years. If no surviving spouse or children, payment shall be made to parents of the deceased.

Contact:

Kentucky Fire Commission
118 James Court
Lexington, KY 40505
Phone: (800) 782-6823
Fax: (859) 256-3125
Website: kyfirecommission.kctcs.edu

(Reference: KY Code 61.315)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Spouse and certain dependents also entitled to income benefit. Income benefit is 50% of average weekly wage for surviving spouse with no children.

Benefit is 45% of the average weekly wage for a spouse living with children, and an additional 15% for each child until the age of 18, or age of 22 if in college. Spouse living apart from children is eligible for 40%.

If death occurs within 4 years of date of injury as a direct result of a work-related injury, a lump sum payment of $50,000 shall be awarded; lump sum adjusted on an annual basis.

Spouse receives 2-year lump sum upon remarriage with cessation of weekly benefits. Otherwise, spouse continues to receive benefits for life.

Surviving children with no surviving parent eligible for specific amounts. Other dependent family members may be eligible for specific amounts.

Contact:

Kentucky Office of Workers’ Claims
657 Chamberlain Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-5550
Website: labor.ky.gov

Volunteer firefighters: Covered under law with income benefits based upon the average weekly wage in their regular employment. Premium paid by the Kentucky Fire Commission.

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Death benefits regarding occupational diseases can be awarded at the discretion of the Kentucky Fire Commission.

Contact:

Kentucky Fire Commission
118 James Court
Lexington, KY 40505
Phone: (800) 782-6823
Fax: (859) 256-3125
Website: kyfirecommission.kctcs.edu

(Reference: Kentucky Revised Statutes 342:750 (6) & KY Administrative Regulations Chapter 25)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Included under Workers’ Claims lump sum payment. If death of employee occurs within four (4) years from date of injury as a direct result of the injury, a lump sum payment to the estate will be made, from which burial expenses are to be paid.


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Most Kentucky firefighters are within the Kentucky Retirement Systems, but plans within the KRS differ dependent on the “tier” of the municipality where the firefighter worked. At least one municipality, Lexington, has its own pension plan.

Contact:

Kentucky Retirement Systems (KRS)
1260 Louisville Road
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 696-8800
Fax: (502) 696-8822
Website: kyret.ky.gov


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Pursuant to KRS 164.2841, Any person whose parent or any nonmarried widow or widower whose spouse was a resident of the Commonwealth of Kentucky upon becoming a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or volunteer firefighter and who was killed while in active service or training for active service or who died as a result of a service-connected disability shall not be required to pay any matriculation or tuition fee upon admission to any state-supported university, community college, or vocational training institution. The provisions of this subsection shall apply to any firefighter or volunteer firefighter who is killed or dies under the conditions covered in this subsection on July 1, 1989, or thereafter.

Contact:

Your School’s Financial Aid Office for more information or application.

(Reference: Kentucky Revised Statutes 164.2841)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Same as for children, except for age restriction; covers only spouses who do not remarry. Also includes spouses of disabled firefighters.

Contact:

Your School’s Financial Aid Office for more information or application.

(Reference: Kentucky Revised Statutes 164.2841)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kentucky Firefighters Association

c/o Grayson Fire Department
316 East Third Street
Grayson, KY 41143
Phone: (859) 609-5576
Website: www.kyfa.org

Kentucky Firefighters Association provides resources, information, and scholarships to dependents as long as department is a participating dues member.

Kid’s Chance of Kentucky

P.O. Box 910234
Lexington, KY 40591
Phone: (859) 219-0194
E-Mail: info@kidschanceky.org
Website: www.kidschanceky.org

Kid’s Chance of Kentucky provides scholarships to dependent children of seriously or fatally injured workers.

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.


DISABILITY

Employer shall pay for the cure and relief from the effects of an injury or occupational disease. This includes medical, surgical, and hospital treatment.

Contact:

Kentucky Office of Workers’ Claims
657 Chamberlain Avenue
Frankfort, KY 40601
Phone: (502) 564-5550
Website: labor.ky.gov


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.