Nevada Survivor Benefits

Updated January 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

As of November 2018, Nevada does not have a one-time death benefit payment for firefighters. However, many fire departments or municipalities carry insurance policies for their firefighters.


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

If the deceased leaves no children but leaves a spouse, the surviving spouse shall be paid 66-2/3% of the average monthly wage of the deceased employee for the remainder of their life. Remarriage has no effect on eligibility.

If the deceased leaves one or more dependent children and a spouse, the spouse shall receive 33-1/3% of the average monthly wage, while all of the children shall proportionally share 33-1/3%.
If the deceased leaves one or more dependent children but no spouse, all of the children shall proportionally share 66-2/3%.

The entitlement of any child to these benefits ceases when the child dies, marries, reaches the age of 18, or reaches the age of 22 if enrolled as a full-time student in a vocational or educational institution. A child over 18 years of age and incapable of supporting themselves is entitled to continue to receive these benefits.

If no dependent spouse or child is left, wholly dependent parents and siblings are eligible for up to 33-1/3% of the wages each, not to exceed 66-2/3% in total.
In the case of partial dependents, they shall be paid in proportion to their level of dependency.

Contact:

Nevada Industrial Relations
Department of Business & Industry

400 West King Street, Suite 400
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: (775) 684-7270
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: dir.nv.gov/WCS/Home/

OR

Contact:

Nevada Industrial Relations
Department of Business & Industry

3360 West Sahara Avenue, Suite 250
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: (702) 486-9080
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: dir.nv.gov/WCS/Home/

(Reference: NRS 616C.505)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Cancer is considered an occupational disease for career and volunteer firefighters who have held such position for 5 years or more if it is demonstrated that the person was exposed, while in the course of the employment, to a known carcinogen as defined by the International Agency for Research on Cancer or the National Toxicology Program, and the carcinogen is reasonably associated with the disabling cancer. Nevada Revised Statutes 617.453 has a list of carcinogens and cancers that Nevada considers reasonably associated, however it is not an exhaustive list. Under this law, compensation awarded to the firefighter or their dependents for disabling cancer must include full reimbursement for related expenses incurred for medical treatments as well as any other Workers’ Compensation benefits for which they are eligible (see: Workers’ Compensation and Funeral Benefit sections). The diagnoses of such cancer must be made while the deceased is still employed as a firefighter, or within 60 months of the termination of their employment.

Lung disease caused by exposure to heat, smoke, fumes, tear gas or any other noxious gases is considered an occupational disease for firefighters with 2 or more years of tenure.

Heart disease is considered an occupational disease for career firefighters with 2 or more years of tenure. For a volunteer firefighter, “diseases of the heart are occupational diseases…if caused by extreme overexertion in times of stress or danger and a causal relationship can be shown by competent evidence that the disability or death arose out of and was caused by the performance of duties as a volunteer firefighter… who, for 5 years or more, has served continuously as a volunteer firefighter in this State.”

Either heart or lung disease is conclusively presumed to have arisen in the course of the employment if the disease is diagnosed and causes the disablement in any of the following three scenarios:

during the course of that employment;

if the firefighter ceases employment before completing 20 years of service, during the period after separation from employment which is equal to the number of years worked; or

if the firefighter ceases employment after completing 20 years or more of service, at any time during their life.

Frequent or regular use of a tobacco product within 1 year, or a material departure from a physician’s prescribed plan of care within 3 months, immediately preceding the filing of a claim for compensation excludes a person who has separated from service from the benefit of the conclusive presumption above, as does failure to correct predisposing conditions, if possible, which lead to the lung disease when so ordered in writing by the examining physician after a required physical examination.

Silicosis, diseases related to asbestos, and diseases of respiratory tract resulting from exposure to dusts are occupational diseases if the firefighter has been exposed to harmful quantities of silicon dioxide dust or fibers of asbestos for not less than 1 year in employment in Nevada, and the claim is made within 1 year of the date of death and within 1 year after the claimant knew or should have known of the relationship between the disease and the employment.

Hepatitis and certain other contagious diseases can also be considered occupational diseases, should the firefighter have come in contact with them during their employment.

(Reference: NRS 617.453, 617.455, 617.457, 617.470, 617.481, 617.485)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Burial expenses are payable in an amount not to exceed $10,000, plus the cost of transporting the remains of the deceased employee for all firefighters.

Contact:

Nevada Industrial Relations
Department of Business & Industry

400 West King Street, Suite 400
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: (775) 684-7270
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: dir.nv.gov/WCS/Home/

OR

Contact:

Nevada Industrial Relations
Department of Business & Industry

3360 West Sahara Avenue, Suite 250
Las Vegas, NV 89102
Phone: (702) 486-9080
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: dir.nv.gov/WCS/Home/

(Reference: NRS 616C.505)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

For firefighters covered by the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada (NVPERS), which can include both volunteer and career firefighters, the survivor beneficiary is entitled to receive a monthly allowance equivalent to the greater of: 50% of the salary of the member on the date of the member’s death; or 100% of the retirement allowance that the member was eligible to receive based on the member’s years of service obtained before the member’s death without any reduction for age for the deceased member. These benefits must be paid to the survivor beneficiary for the remainder of the survivor beneficiary’s life.

The beneficiary may also elect, in lieu of the monthly allowance options outlined above, to receive:

  • a benefit which shall be calculated as if the deceased member retired on the day of their death and named the spouse or other survivor beneficiary as beneficiary with no reduction for the deceased member’s age. This payment would continue until the beneficiary’s death; or,
  • a refund of the deceased’s employee contributions, plus the portion of the mandatory employer-pay contributions submitted on behalf of the deceased, plus 50% of any employer-pay contributions made during the period of time for which the employee was not mandated under the employer-pay contribution plan; or,
  • a monthly benefit of $450.

Each child of the deceased is entitled to receive a benefit of $400 per month so long as they remain a dependent, irrespective of which above option is chosen.

The amount of each monthly allowance shall not exceed the deceased’s average compensation and shall be reduced by the amount of any other benefit received from any source:

If that benefit was provided or purchased by the expenditure of money by a public employer in this state, except for lump-sum payments under a group insurance program; and

To the extent that the total of the allowance and the other benefit would otherwise exceed the deceased member’s average compensation.

For volunteer firefighters, the average compensation is a weighted average of the assumed wage as a volunteer firefighter and the average salary in other covered employment.

Contact:

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada
693 W. Nye Lane
Carson City, NV 89703
Phone: (775) 687-4200
Toll Free: (866) 473-7768
Fax: (775) 687-5131
Website: www.nvpers.org

OR

Contact:

Public Employees’ Retirement System of Nevada
5740 S. Eastern Ave, Suite 120
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 678-6934
Toll Free: (866) 473-7768
Fax: (702) 678-6934
Website: www.nvpers.org

(Reference: NRS 286.67695)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

The Board of Regents shall pay all registration fees, laboratory fees and expenses for required textbooks and course materials incurred by a dependent child of a firefighter who was killed in the line of duty, for classes taken towards satisfying the requirements of an undergraduate degree at a school within the Nevada System of Higher Education. Payment may be made until the child reaches the age of 23 years.

Contact:

Nevada System of Higher Education
2601 Enterprise Road
Reno, NV 89512
Phone: (775) 784-4901
Fax: (775) 784-1127
Website: nshe.nevada.edu

OR

Contact:

Nevada System of Higher Education
4300 S. Maryland Pkwy
Las Vegas, NV 89119
Phone: (702) 889-8426
Fax: (702) 889-8495
Website: nshe.nevada.edu

(Reference: NRS 396.545)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

The education benefits outlined above do not extend to the spouses of fallen firefighters.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Nevada State Firefighter’s Association

E-mail:[email protected]sfa.org
Website:nsfa.org
Spouses and children of fallen members of the Nevada State Firefighter’s Association can receive up to $1,000 per individual annually.

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

Survivor Health Insurance:  The surviving spouse and any surviving child of a firefighter who was employed by a local governmental agency that had established group insurance, a plan of benefits or medical and hospital service pursuant may elect to accept or continue coverage if the firefighter was a participant or would have been eligible to participate in such on the date of the death of the firefighter. To do so the local government agency must be notified in writing within 60 days of the firefighter’s death.

Spouses are eligible to continue this coverage for life. Children are eligible to continue this coverage until they would have otherwise been considered ineligible for coverage under the specific plan.

The above also applies to the families of volunteer firefighters for joining or continuing coverage under the Public Employees’ Benefits Program.

The local governmental agency that employed the firefighter, or the state for volunteer firefighters, shall pay the entire cost of the premiums or contributions for the plan.

Contact:

Nevada Public Employees’ Benefits Program
901 South Stewart Street, Suite 1001​
Carson City, NV 89701
Phone: (775) 684-7000
Toll Free: (800) 326-5496
Fax: (775) 684-7028
E-mail: [email protected]
Website:https://pebp.state.nv.us/

(Reference: NRS 287.0205)

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.