Missouri Survivor Benefits

Updated November 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

A one-time payment of $25,000 shall be awarded to the survivors of a fallen firefighter, paid or volunteer. If the firefighter leaves a spouse and no dependent children, the amount shall be given entirely to the spouse. If the firefighter leaves any dependent children and no spouse, the amount shall be split equally among all dependent children. If there is both a spouse and one or more children, 50% of the amount shall go to the spouse while the other 50% is split equally among all dependent children.

Contact:

Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (Central Office)
Missouri Department of Labor

3315 West Truman Blvd. Room 131
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0058
Phone: (573) 751-4231
Fax: (573) 751-2012
E-mail: workerscomp@labor.mo.gov
Website: https://labor.mo.gov/DWC/Injured_Workers/benefits_available

(Reference: Missouri Statutes Title XVIII Section 287.243)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

The employer shall pay to the firefighter’s spouse and dependent children a weekly compensation equal to 66-2/3% of the injured employee’s average weekly earnings, as calculated from the year immediately preceding death. This amount shall not exceed 105% of the state average weekly wage, and not be less than 40 dollars per week. Should a spouse remarry, they shall be paid a lump-sum equal to two years of these benefits and the weekly payments shall go to any other remaining dependents, for as long as they remain a dependent.

Contact:

Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (Central Office)
Missouri Department of Labor

3315 West Truman Blvd. Room 131
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0058
Phone: (573) 751-4231
Fax: (573) 751-2012
E-mail: workerscomp@labor.mo.gov
Website: https://labor.mo.gov/DWC/Injured_Workers/benefits_available

(Reference: Missouri Statutes Title XVIII Section 287.240)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Missouri law currently only counts presumed occupational diseases for the purpose of computing retirement benefits. Under this law, diseases presumed to have been suffered in the line of duty for firefighters who have served for 5 or more years are: many infectious diseases, disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, hypotension, hypertension, disease of the heart, or any condition of cancer affecting the skin or the central nervous, lymphatic, digestive, hematological, urinary, skeletal, oral, breast, testicular, genitourinary, liver or prostate systems, as well as any condition of cancer which may result from exposure to heat or radiation or to a known or suspected carcinogen as determined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

As of November 2018, there are bills which aim to make many forms of cancer recognized as an occupational disease for the purpose of all death benefits however those are currently in committee.

(Reference: Missouri Statutes Title VII Section 87.006 [current law], MO HB1641 [proposed law])

FUNERAL BENEFIT

In all cases the employer shall pay direct to the persons responsible for the funeral the reasonable expense of the burial of the deceased, not exceeding five thousand dollars.

Contact:

Missouri Division of Workers’ Compensation (Central Office)
Missouri Department of Labor

3315 West Truman Blvd. Room 131
Jefferson City, MO 65102-0058
Phone: (573) 751-4231
Fax: (573) 751-2012
E-mail: workerscomp@labor.mo.gov
Website: https://labor.mo.gov/DWC/Injured_Workers/benefits_available


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Pension plans vary by locality as Missouri state law only sets guidelines for retirement systems. In general, you can expect to receive regular payments of a set percentage of the firefighter’s historic or expected salary. Please contact your local municipality and fire chief for assistance in determining specific benefits in your case.

(Reference: Missouri Statutes Title VII Section 87)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Natural, adopted, and step children of fallen firefighters are eligible for a scholarship through the “Public Service Officer or Employee’s Child Survivor Grant Program”. The child must be a Missouri resident and full time student pursuing an undergraduate degree while under the age of 24 at a participating Missouri postsecondary school (currently there are about 70 participating institutions). They cannot have previously obtained a bachelor’s degree, nor be pursuing a degree in theology or divinity.

The maximum semester grant amount will be the lesser of the following: the actual tuition charged for 12 credit hours at the school where you are enrolled full time; or, the amount of tuition for 12 credit hours charged to an undergraduate Missouri resident enrolled full time in the same class level and in the same academic major at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Contact:

Missouri Department of Higher Education
205 Jefferson Street
PO Box 1469
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469
Phone: (573) 751-2361
Fax: (573) 751-6635
E-mail: info@dhe.mo.gov
Website: https://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/publicserviceofficer.php


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Education benefits for a spouse are identical to those above, except there is no age requirement. Remarriage has no effect on this benefit.

Contact:

Missouri Department of Higher Education
205 Jefferson Street
PO Box 1469
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1469
Phone: (573) 751-2361
Fax: (573) 751-6635
E-mail: info@dhe.mo.gov
Website: https://dhe.mo.gov/ppc/grants/publicserviceofficer.php

(Reference: Missouri Statutes Title XVIII Section 173.260)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kids’ Chance of Missouri, Inc.

PO Box 410384
St. Louis, MO 63141
Phone: (314) 997-3390
E-mail: susgroup@gmail.com
Website: www.mokidschance.org

Kids’ Chance of Missouri provides post high school scholarships for children of Missouri workers killed or disabled on a job covered by workers’ compensation statutes, which includes all firefighter LODDs. These scholarships can be used for tuition, books, supplies, housing, meals, and other education-related expenses not covered by other grants or scholarships.

Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

Jamie Miller, Secretary
PO Box 1153
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: (660) 429-1327
Fax: (660) 747-9791
E-mail: ffam.jmiller@gmail.com
Website: ffam.org/members/benefits

If the Firefighter is a member of the Fire Fighters Association of Missouri, their designated beneficiary shall receive $1,000 from the FFAM Benevolence Fund. FFAM also has an elective Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance plan for up to $50,000. Under this AD&D Insurance, the firefighter’s death does not need to be duty related.

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

The state of Missouri does not offer any state level health insurance benefits for the survivors of fallen firefighters. Please contact your fire department or local municipality to check if they do.


TAX ABATEMENT

The Public Safety Officer Surviving Spouse Tax Credit is available for surviving spouses. This credit is for an amount equal to the total amount of the property taxes on the surviving spouse’s homestead paid during the tax year for which the credit is claimed, excluding withholding tax. The spouse is able to claim this tax beginning the year of firefighter’s death and continue claiming it until the tax year in which the surviving spouse remarries, if ever.

Contact:

Taxation Bureau
Missouri Department of Revenue

301 West High St.
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Phone: (573) 522-6864
E-mail: income@dor.mo.gov
Website: dor.mo.gov/taxcredit/ssc.php

(Reference: Missouri Statutes Title XVIII Section 135.090)

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.