Michigan Survivor Benefits

Updated November 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

A one-time payment of $25,000 shall be given to the firefighter’s spouse, dependents, or estate. This includes both paid and volunteer firefighters, Up to $3,000 of this payment shall be made available as an interim benefit payment to the spouse, dependents, or estate if a showing of need is made.

Contact:

Public Safety Officer Benefit Program
Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards

927 Centennial Way
Lansing, MI, 48917
Phone: (517) 636-7864
PSOB Section Manager: (517) 636-7875 (Ryan Speidel)
Fax: (517) 636-7887
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.michigan.gov/mcoles/

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Sections 28.634, 28.635)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

The state of Michigan requires all employers to provide weekly payments to the deceased’s dependents for 500 weeks (9 years, 8 months) from the date of death, or injury if the firefighter was injured on the job and later succumbed to said injuries. If at the expiration of the 500-week period any wholly or partially dependent person is less than 21 years of age, a worker’s compensation magistrate may order the employer to continue to pay part or all of the weekly compensation until the dependent reaches the age of 21. Payments to a spouse, but not dependent children, cease upon remarriage.

The amount paid shall be equal to 80% of the employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. This amount cannot be less than 50% of the state average weekly wage nor greater than 90% of the state average weekly wage.

Note: if a spouse was only partially dependent on the spouse benefits may be decreased.

Contact:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Workers’ Compensation Agency

2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI, 48864
Phone: (888) 396-5041
Website: www.michigan.gov/wca/
E-mail: [email protected]

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Sections 418.301, 418.321, 418.335, 418.355, 418.356, 418.375)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

For full-time, paid firefighters that have worked for 5 years or more for the department and were exposed to the hazards incidental to fire suppression, rescue, or emergency medical services in the performance of their work-related duties, the following conditions are covered under the presumed coverage fund: respiratory and heart diseases, or illnesses resulting therefrom, or any respiratory tract, bladder, skin, brain, kidney, blood, thyroid, testicular, prostate, or lymphatic cancer.

Claims for such conditions must be submitted within 2 years after the date the employee or dependents of the deceased had knowledge, or a reasonable belief, or through ordinary diligence could have discovered that the occupational disease or death was work related.

The presumption may be rebutted by scientific evidence that the firefighter was a substantial and consistent user of cigarettes or other tobacco products within the 10 years immediately preceding the date of injury, and that this use was a significant factor in the cause, aggravation, or progression of the cancer.

Contact:

Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Workers’ Compensation Agency

2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI, 48864
Phone: (888) 396-5041
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.michigan.gov/wca/

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Sections 418.405, 418.415, 418.441)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

The state of Michigan requires all employers to pay the reasonable expense of the employee’s funeral and burial, up to $6,000.
Contact: Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

Contact:

Workers’ Compensation Agency
2501 Woodlake Circle
Okemos, MI 48864
Phone: (888) 396-5041
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: https://www.michigan.gov/wca/

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Section 418.345)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career Firefighters:
A weekly pension equivalent to the amount paid by worker’s compensation (see above) shall be paid to the deceased’s spouse and any dependents starting upon termination of the worker’s compensation benefits. A spouse continues to receive this benefit until death whether or not the spouse remarries. Children continue to receive this benefit until age 18 or marriage, whichever comes first. Any other dependents continue to receive this benefit the time the retirement board determines that the need for a pension no longer exists.

The total amount of the deceased’s salary contributions to the Municipal Employees’ Retirement System will be paid to the person(s) designated as beneficiaries.

Contact:

Municipal Employees’ Retirement System of Michigan
1134 Municipal Way
Lansing, MI, 48917
Phone: (800) 767-6377
Website: www.mersofmich.com

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Sections 38.556, 38.556b, 38.558)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Children, both natural and adopted, of fallen firefighters are eligible for the “Police and Fire Fighter’s Survivor Tuition Grant”. To be eligible, the child must be a full time resident of Michigan for at least 12 months before applying. They must have been accepted as a full-time, part-time, or summer school student at a state institution of higher learning. The child must apply for this grant for the first time while under the age of 26, and have been under the age of 21 at the time of the firefighter’s death. The child cannot have previously earned a Bachelor’s degree.
This grant covers costs for the amount of the student’s eligible tuition in that academic year that is not covered or paid by any scholarship, trust fund, statutory benefit, or any other source of tuition coverage available to the eligible student.

Contact:

Michigan Student Aid
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O Box 30462
Lansing, MI, 48909-7962
Phone: (888) 447-2687
Fax: (517) 241-5835
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Spouses are eligible for the “Police and Fire Fighter’s Survivor Tuition Grant” as well. The only difference is there are no age requirements for spouses.

Contact:

Michigan Student Aid
Michigan Department of Treasury
P.O Box 30462
Lansing, MI, 48909-7962
Phone: (888) 447-2687
Fax: (517) 241-5835
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.michigan.gov/mistudentaid/

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Sections 390.1242, 390.1243)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Michigan State Firemen’s Association

9001 Miller Rd. Suite 10
Swartz Creek, MI, 48473
Phone: (810) 635-9513
Fax: (810) 635-2858
Website: msfassoc.org
E-mail: [email protected]

If the Firefighter is a member of the Michigan State Firemen’s Association, their family is eligible for a $1,500 Life Insurance benefit, as well as either a $4,650 or $9,300 AD&D benefit, depending on coverage elected.

The Hundred Club of Greater Lansing
3315 S. Pennsylvania Ave
Lansing, MI, 48910
Phone: (517) 204-3687
Website: www.100clubofgreaterlansing.org

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.


HEALTH INSURANCE

Michigan provides to the surviving spouse and dependent children a medical benefit plan on comparable terms to the medical benefit plan offered to Michigan state police trooper retirees, including any change to the medical benefit plan after the firefighter’s death. This Coverage is not required to be provided for more than 60 months after the date of death, while the spouse or dependent children have qualified for and are covered by a medical benefit plan from another source. Coverage provided under this section ends for a surviving spouse upon Medicare eligibility.

Contact:
Public Safety Officer Benefit Program
Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards

Attention: Ryan Speidel
927 Centennial Way
P.O. Box 30633
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: (517) 322-5627
Website: www.michigan.gov/mcoles/0,4607,7-229-41626_42411-230569–,00.html
E-mail: [email protected]

(Reference: Michigan Compiled Laws, Section 28.634a)

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.