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Family Benefits

North Carolina Survivor Benefits

Updated July 2021 (COVID-19 related benefits updated April 2021)

COVID-19 BENEFITS

PSOB benefits are available in any State of the U.S., the District of Columbia, Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands of the U.S., Guam, American Samoa, the Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any territory or possession of the U.S.

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFITS

A one-time payment of $100,000 shall be awarded to the spouse, dependent children, or parents of a full time, part time, or volunteer firefighters who dies in the line of duty. This benefit is exempt from local and state taxes.

This includes firefighters who die as the direct and proximate result of a myocardial infarction suffered while on duty or within 24 hours after participating in a training exercise or responding to an emergency situation, or as a direct and proximate result of any of the following cancers that are occupationally related to firefighting: mesothelioma, testicular cancer, intestinal cancer, and esophageal cancer.

Note that this payment was increased from $50,000 in June of 2018 by the state legislature for deaths occurring on or after 1 April 2017.

Contact:
North Carolina Industrial Commission
430 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: (919) 807-2501
Toll Free: (800) 688-8349
Fax: (919) 715-0282
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.ic.nc.gov

Mailing Address:
North Carolina Industrial Commission
1240 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1240

Reference: N.C.G.S. Sections 143-166.2, 143-166.3, 143-166.6

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

North Carolina has a long list of diseases and conditions considered to be occupational diseases for all workers. This list includes asbestosis, silicosis, compressed air illness, and carbon monoxide poisoning. See general statute 97-53 for the full list. However, as of November 2018, the only firefighter specific diseases are those listed above: myocardial infarction within 24 hours of duty, mesothelioma, testicular cancer, intestinal cancer, and esophageal cancer.

Contact:
North Carolina Industrial Commission
430 N. Salisbury Street
Raleigh, NC 27603
Phone: (919) 807-2501
Toll Free: (800) 688-8349
Fax: (919) 715-0282
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.ic.nc.gov

Mailing Address:
Workers’ Compensation Information Specialists
North Carolina Industrial Commission

1233 Mail Service Center
Raleigh, NC 27699-1233

Reference: N.C.G.S. Sections 97-53

WORKERS' COMPENSATION

If death results proximately from a compensable injury or occupational disease the employer shall pay or cause to be paid weekly payments of compensation equal to 66 2/3% of the average weekly wages of the deceased employee at the time of the accident. This amount must be greater than $30 per week but less than the Maximum Weekly Compensation Rate. Persons wholly dependent for support upon the earnings of the deceased employee at the time of the accident shall be entitled to receive the entire compensation payable, shared equally, to the exclusion of all other persons. Spouses and children are assumed to be dependents. These payments shall be paid at minimum for a period of 500 weeks from the date of the death. After this period, an unmarried spouse who is unable to support themselves because of physical or mental disability as of the date of death, or any dependent children under the age of 18, shall continue to receive the weekly payments so long as they remain unmarried and disabled, or under 18, respectively. For volunteer firefighters, compensation payable shall be calculated upon the average weekly wage the volunteer firefighter principally earned for their livelihood as of the date of injury. The minimum compensation payable to a volunteer firefighter shall be 66 2/3% of the Maximum Weekly Compensation Rate.

Contact: North Carolina Industrial Commission 430 N. Salisbury Street Raleigh, NC 27603 Phone: (919) 807-2501 Toll Free: (800) 688-8349 Fax: (919) 715-0282 E-mail:[email protected] Website: www.ic.nc.gov

Mailing Address: Workers’ Compensation Information Specialists North Carolina Industrial Commission 1233 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1233

Reference: N.C.G.S. Sections 97-2, 97-29, 97-38, 97-39

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Burial expenses not exceeding $10,000 shall be covered under Workers’ Compensation law.

Contact: North Carolina Industrial Commission 430 N. Salisbury Street Raleigh, NC 27603 Phone: (919) 807-2501 Toll Free: (800) 688-8349 Fax: (919) 715-0282 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.ic.nc.gov

Mailing Address: Workers’ Compensation Information Specialists North Carolina Industrial Commission 1233 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-1233

Reference: N.C.G.S. Section 97-38

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

The “Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund” covers many firefighters in the state of North Carolina, including members of volunteer fire departments. Effective 1 July 2018, FRSWPF members will be able to name principal and contingent beneficiaries for the Survivor Benefit owed if killed in the line of duty. If the death occurred after 1 July 2018 and the firefighter has one eligible principal beneficiary, they will receive a monthly survivorship benefit, currently $170, beginning the month following the month the firefighter would have become 55 years old, or if already 55, beginning the month following death. The beneficiary is eligible for this benefit until death. If the firefighter leaves no spouse, a lump sum shall be paid to the estate of the deceased. If there is more than one living principal beneficiary or contingent beneficiary, a lump-sum payment equal to the firefighter’s remaining contributions will be paid to the eligible beneficiaries. If the death occurred prior to 1 July 2018, only the surviving spouse is eligible for the monthly payments.

Contact: Firefighters’ and Rescue Squad Workers’ Pension Fund Department of State Treasurer 3200 Atlantic Avenue Raleigh, North Carolina 27604 Phone: (877) 627-3287 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.myncretirement.com

Reference: N.C.G.S. Section 58-86-60

EDUCATION BENEFIT - CHILDREN

Children under the age of 24 shall be able to attend classes for credit or noncredit purposes without the required payment of tuition for up to 54 months (4.5 years) at any of the constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina or the North Carolina Community Colleges. Other fees and charges, such as housing and textbooks, are not waived under this law.

There is no central authority for this education benefit; each institution is charged with creating the rules necessary for the implementation of this benefit. Please reach out to the institution in question or visit that school’s website for information on required documents and deadlines.

Contact:
To apply, speak to the financial aid office of the school you wish to attend.

Reference: N.C.G.S. Sections 115B-1, 115B-2.

EDUCATION BENEFIT - SPOUSE

Spouses are also eligible for the tuition waiver. The age and duration limitations for children do not apply to spouses. Spouses lose this benefit upon remarriage.

There is no central authority for this education benefit; each institution is charged with creating the rules necessary for the implementation of this benefit. Please reach out to the institution in question or visit that school’s website for information on required documents and deadlines.

Contact:
To apply, speak to the financial aid office of the school you wish to attend.

Reference: N.C.G.S. Sections 115B-1, 115B-2.

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kids’ Chance North Carolina
PO Box 40 Colfax, NC 27235 Phone:  (336) 404-5069 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.kidschancenc.org Provides scholarships to children of NC workers who are catastrophically or fatally injured.
North Carolina Association of Rescue & E.M.S.
200H Genoa Crossing Drive Goldsboro, North Carolina 27530 Phone: (919) 736-0506 Fax: (919) 736-7759 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.ncarems.org Mailing Address: North Carolina Association of Rescue & E.M.S. Post Office Box 1914 Goldsboro, North Carolina 27533-1914 North Carolina Association of Rescue & E.M.S. offers the following to all rescue/EMS personnel: a LODD one-time benefit payment of $100,000, 10% of the average weekly wage of the fallen firefighter for a 6 month period, and scholarship opportunities to dependent children. Children may choose a 2 or 4 year school. A 2 year scholarship shall be $2,000.00, 2/4 year shall be $9500.00, and a four 4 year scholarship shall be $15,000.00. The Association also offers the following to members of the association: $20,000 AD&D, $5,000 member death benefit, $1,000 natural death benefit, and scholarship opportunities similar to those above for a surviving spouse.
North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association
323 W. Jones St, Suite 401 Raleigh, NC 27603 Phone: (919) 821-2132 Fax: (919) 821-9382 Website: www.ncfsa.com Member benefits include: $25,000 AD&D for off duty events and $50,000 for on duty events, a Relief fund, and a Retirement fund. The NCSFA also has a scholarship program which gives $2,000 and $8,000 for associate and bachelor’s degrees, respectively, to the children of fallen NCSFA firefighters. Scholarships are awarded on both a merit and need basis. Contact: North Carolina State Firefighters’ Association.
National Fallen Firefighters Foundation
P.O. Box 498 Emmitsburg, MD 21727 Phone: (301) 4471-1365 FAX: (301) 4471-1645 Website: www.firehero.org The Sarbanes Scholarship Program Spouses, life partners, children, and stepchildren of firefighters honored at the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial are eligible to apply for the NFFF Sarbanes Scholarship Program along with other partner programs. The NFFF Sarbanes Scholarships are awarded for undergraduate and graduate studies, vocational-technical training, and certification and job training programs. They may be used for study at in-state or out-of-state public and private schools.
The International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue, NW Washington, DC 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

Spouses and their dependent children are eligible to join the North Carolina State Health Plan with Fully Contributory Coverage, provided that the person seeking coverage as a subscriber is not eligible for another comprehensive group health benefit plan and has been without coverage under a comprehensive group health benefit plan for at least six consecutive months.

Contact: North Carolina State Health Plan 3200 Atlantic Avenue Raleigh, NC 27604 Phone: (855) 859-0966 E-mail: [email protected] Website: www.shpnc.org

Reference: N.C.G.S. Section 135-48.40(c)

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. Also provides “extended counseling” to the grieving family. 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

DisclaimerThe 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.