New Mexico Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

A lump sum of $50,000 is awarded when a firefighter is killed in the line of duty. The benefits shall be paid entirely to the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, the benefits shall be distributed in pro rata shares to all surviving children. If there are no surviving children or spouse, benefits shall be distributed to the surviving parents of the firefighter.

Contact:
Public Regulation Commission
State Fire Marshal’s Division
1120 Paseo Dr Peralta
PO Box 1269
Santa Fe, NM 87501
Phone: (800) 244-6702
Fax: (505) 476-0100
Website: www.nmprc.state.nm.us/sfm.htm


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career Firefighters: Benefit is 66 2/3% of employee’s average weekly wages payable to spouse and/or dependent children not to exceed 700 weeks. If no eligible spouse or children, parents or siblings may be eligible for some benefits. Minimum and maximum amounts apply. All medical and hospital expenses associated with the death are paid. Benefit paid only if the firefighter died as a result of work-related accident within 2 years after the incident. State Average Weekly Wage for 2010 is $563.32.

Upon remarriage, spouse receives two-year lump sum and benefits terminate; the total benefits must not exceed the maximum compensation benefit. Children are considered dependent until age 18, age 23 if enrolled as a full-time student, or longer if incapable of self-support and unmarried.

Contact:
State of New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration
2410 Centre Avenue SE
P.O. Box 27198
Albuquerque, NM 87125-7198
Phone: (505) 841-6000
Toll Free: (800) 255-7965 (In state)
Website: www.workerscomp.state.nm.us

(Reference: NM Statutes § 52-1-46; See Workers’ Comp Handbook #B2, Page 20)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Career Firefighters: Maximum of $7,500 for burial expenses.

Contact:
State of New Mexico Workers’ Compensation Administration
2410 Centre Avenue SE
P.O. Box 27198
Albuquerque, NM 87125-7198
Phone: (505) 841-6000
Toll Free: (800) 255-7965 (In state)
Website: www.workerscomp.state.nm.us


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career Firefighters: Coverage is mandatory for public employees under the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) of New Mexico. If no beneficiary was previously selected, eligible spouse and children receive pension. The beneficiary will receive either a monthly pension equal to 50% of the member’s final average salary or a monthly payment calculated using the member’s age and years of service, whichever is higher. Members are strongly advised to complete a Survivor Beneficiary form. Member handbook is available on the PERA website.

Volunteer Firefighters: Upon death of a pensioned volunteer firefighter, surviving beneficiary will be paid 2/3 of the pension firefighter was receiving. There are no pre-retirement or disability retirements. A pension to a surviving spouse terminates upon either remarriage or death. A pension to a dependent child ceases when they reach age 18 or death. Handbook for volunteer firefighter pension is found on the PERA website at

Special rules apply to calculating survivor pension benefits. Contact PERA for further information.

Important: In 2011, New Mexico adopted new retirement age and service credit requirements for those hired after July 1, 2010. Firefighter Plans 3, 4, & 5 will not be affected by the new age and service requirements.

Contact:
Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico
PO Box 2123
33 Plaza La Presna
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Phone: (505) 476-9300
Toll Free: (800) 342-3422
Fax: (505) 883-4573
Website: www.pera.state.nm.us
Email: [email protected]

(Reference: July 2009 Member Handbook; New Mexico Volunteer Firefighter’s Benefits Brochure)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Fire Fighter and Peace Officer Survivors’ Scholarships provide free tuition at any New Mexico state institution of higher education. Children eligible if under age 22 at time of firefighter’s death. Individual public institutions provide funding. A survivor meeting entrance requirements shall be entitled to a scholarship to the eligible institution of his choice. The scholarship shall continue for such time as the recipient remains a student in good standing at the institution, but in no event shall any survivor receive a scholarship for more than five years.

Contact:
New Mexico Higher Education Department
2048 Galisteo
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: (505) 476-8400
Fax: (505) 476-8453
Website: hed.state.nm.us
or contact financial aid office at public institutions.


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Same as for children, except for age restriction.

Contact:
New Mexico Higher Education Department
2048 Galisteo
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: (505) 476-8400
Fax: (505) 476-8453
Website: hed.state.nm.us
or contact financial aid office at public institutions.


SPECIAL STATE SERVICES

New Mexico Grief Services Program provides short-term crisis intervention, counseling services, and community referrals.

Contact:
New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator
MSC07 4040
1101 Camino de Salud Northeast
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Phone: (505) 272-3053
Fax: (505) 925-0546
Website: omi.unm.edu/default.aspx


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Contact:
Kids’ Chance
Workers’ Compensation Association of New Mexico
3207 Matthew Avenue NE, Suite A
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Phone: (505) 235-0439 or (505) 262-0039
Website: www.wcaofnm.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


 

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.