New Jersey Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

None.


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Benefit is 70% of average weekly wage. Minimum and maximum amounts apply. Medical costs associated with the death are covered. Children eligible for benefits until age 18, age 23 if a full-time student, or longer if disabled or incapable of self-support. Spouse receives benefits until death even if remarried. If a child is physically or mentally disabled, he or she may be eligible for additional benefits.

Volunteer firefighters: Compensation is based on a weekly salary presumed to be received by the firefighter. Spouse receives state’s maximum benefit amount.

*NOTE: The law applies to members of the State Police, Fire Departments and Municipal or Local Police Departments.

Contact:
Division of Workers’ Compensation and Workforce Development
New Jersey Department of Labor
P.O. Box 381
Trenton, NJ 08625-0381
Phone: (609) 292-2515
Fax: (609) 984-2515
Website: lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/wc_index.html
Email: [email protected]

(Reference: New Jersey Statutes 34-15-16), revised June 2013)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $3,500 for burial expenses.

Contact:
Division of Workers’ Compensation and Workforce Development
New Jersey Department of Labor
P.O. Box 381
Trenton, NJ 08625-0381
Phone: (609) 292-2515
Fax: (609) 984-2515
Website: lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/wc_index.html
Email: [email protected]


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career firefighters: Membership in the system is mandatory for permanent, full-time career firefighters. If death occurs in active service before retirement, the named beneficiary will receive a Group Life Insurance death benefit equal to 350% of the firefighter’s final compensation, which is the base salary in the 12 months immediately preceding death. If the firefighter dies during the first year of credible service, the benefits will be 350% of the creditable base salary upon which the pension contributions were paid. The surviving spouse is paid an annual pension of 50% of the employee’s final compensation. The funds derived from a life insurance survivor’s benefit may be subject to taxation.

In the case of accidental death, the surviving spouse is paid an annual pension of 70% of the deceased firefighter’s final compensation.

If there is no surviving spouse or if the spouse remarries, a smaller pension is paid to the eligible children (50% to 3 or more children; 35% to two children or fewer). If there are no surviving children, benefit is awarded to parents, then the estate.

Benefits are adjusted annually to reflect the cost of living. In New Jersey, benefits apply to surviving spouses, civil union partners or eligible same-sex partners.

Contact:
Police and Firemen’s Retirement System
Division of Pensions and Benefits
Department of the Treasury
50 West State Street
P.O. Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295
Phone: (609) 292-7524
Information System at (609) 777-1777
Website: www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions

(Reference: Group Policy# G-14800, Prudential Life; PERA Handbook on the website)

Volunteer firefighters: Provides $15,000 annually to the surviving spouse or children, $10,000 annually to the children if the spouse remarries, or $5,000 annually to the parents if the firefighter leaves no surviving spouse or children. To receive benefits, the firefighter must have died as the result of injuries sustained in the course of performance of duty (including during travel to and from the emergency site) on or after January 1, 2000.

NOTE: If a survivor is also eligible for a monthly pension benefit due to the voluntary emergency worker’s membership in the PERS, PFRS, or SPRS on the basis of other employment, that survivor is not also eligible for the VESP.

Contact:
Police and Firemen’s Retirement System
Division of Pensions and Benefits
Department of the Treasury
50 West State Street
P.O. Box 295
Trenton, NJ 08625-0295
Phone: (609) 292-7524
Information System at (609) 777-1777
Website: www.state.nj.us/treasury/pensions

(Reference: NJSA 40A-14-44; 43:16 and Fact Sheet #55 on the PERS website)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Survivor Tuition Benefits Program grants pay the actual cost of tuition up to the highest tuition charged at any New Jersey public institution. Must enroll at least half time in an undergraduate degree or certificate program at a college or university in New Jersey and maintain satisfactory academic progress. Limited to eight years following graduation from high school.

Contact:
New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority
4 Quaker Bridge Plaza
P.O. Box 545
Trenton, NJ 08625-0545
Phone: (800) 792-8670
Website: www.state.nj.us/highereducation/njhessa.htm

(Reference: Education benefits for spouse and children found at NJSA 18A-62-1)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Same as for children, except it is limited to eight years following the death of the firefighter.

Contact:
New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority
4 Quaker Bridge Plaza
P.O. Box 545
Trenton, NJ 08625-0545
Phone: (800) 792-8670
Website: www.state.nj.us/highereducation/njhessa.htm

(Reference: Education benefits for spouse and children found at NJSA 18A-62-1)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Must be a member to receive benefits. Relief Fund benefit may vary based on time in Association.

Contact:
New Jersey State Firemen’s Association
1700 Galloping Hill Rd.
Kenilworth, NJ 07033-1303
Phone: (908) 620-1871
Toll Free: (800) 852-0137
Fax: (908) 620-1874
Website: www.njsfa.com

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.

Contact:
Woodmen of the World
Woodmen Tower
1700 Farnham St
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: (800) 225-3108
Website: www.woodmen.org


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.