Ohio Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

The Ohio State Firefighters Association pays the beneficiary of any OSFA member a $1,000 lump sum death benefit if the member is killed in the line-of-duty.

Volunteer Firefighters: Survivors eligible for benefits under the Ohio Volunteer Fire Fighters’ Dependents Fund if the volunteer dies while discharging duties or from exposure or injury received while discharging duties. Spouse receives a lump sum of $1,000 plus $300 per month. Benefits cease upon remarriage. Each child receives a monthly benefit of $125 until age 18 or age 23 if the child is attending a post-secondary educational institution.

Contact:
Division of State Fire Marshal
Department of Commerce
8895 East Main Street
Reynoldsburg, OH 43068
Phone: (614) 752-8200
Toll Free: (888) 252-0803
Website: www.com.state.oh.us/fire
Email: [email protected]

(Reference: Chapter 146.01 Vol Fire Fighter Dependents Fund)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Benefit is 66 2/3% of employee’s average weekly wage. This is based on total earnings from all employers during the year prior to the injury. Minimum and maximum amounts apply and are adjusted annually. Upon remarriage, spouse receives a two-year lump sum and benefits terminate. Children are considered dependent until age 18, age 25 if a full-time student, or longer if disabled and incapable of self-support. Lost wages between the date of incident and date of death may be compensable. Benefits do not apply if firefighter participated in a municipal pension fund and the amount of pension funds provided is not less than the Workers’ Compensation benefit.

This includes off-duty firefighters responding to inherently dangerous situations regardless of whether within the limits of jurisdiction of regular employment or voluntary service.

Occupational Illness: Claims alleging that death is the result of an injury or occupational disease must be filed within two years of the date of death.

Contact:
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
30 West Spring Street
Columbus, OH 43215-2256
Phone: (800) 644-6292
Fax: (877) 520-6446
Website: www.ohiobwc.com

(Reference: OAC 4123-08(D); ORC 4123.85)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $5,500 for burial expenses.

Contact:
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
30 West Spring Street
Columbus, OH 43215-2256
Phone: (800) 644-6292
Fax: (877) 520-6446
Website: www.ohiobwc.com


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career Firefighters: Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund provides special benefits to eligible survivors of firefighters. The firefighter’s death must be the result of or while in the performance of duty from any of the following:

  • an injury or disease
  • heart disease with a fatal attack
  • heart disease while off-duty, if the fatal attack can be attributed to an incident while in the performance of duty.

These benefits are for firefighters covered under the Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund and the Public Employees’ Retirement System. This benefit is a monthly death benefit that supplements benefits paid under the pension plans listed below.

If the firefighter had not qualified for age and service retirement, then the eligible survivors receive the decedent’s monthly “base pay” minus the benefits payable under the decedent’s retirement plan. Spouse with no eligible children receives full “base pay.” Spouse with children shares the “base pay” accordingly.

Spouse continues to receive benefits until death. Unmarried children considered dependent until age 18 or age 22 if a student. Disabled children who are incapable of self-support are eligible for this benefit for life.

Whenever there is an increase in the “base pay,” the survivor benefits are increased accordingly. Survivors are also eligible for benefits if the firefighter died from a disease incurred in the performance of official duties.

The surviving spouse is eligible to receive a benefit plus any cost of living allowance until death (3% annual). Surviving spouse, however, is only eligible to receive a benefit if he or she is receiving a full death benefit payable under the Ohio Public Safety Officers Death Benefit Fund statute. Survivor continuing health care is available.

DROP Members: If firefighter was a member of the Ohio Police and Fire Pension Fund Deferred Retirement Option Plan (DROP), surviving spouse is entitled to receive the full balance of the DROP benefits accrued.

Once a OP&F is contacted, a packet of materials and forms will be mailed to the member’s survivor, including the Members Guild to Survivor Benefits. Also included will be a health care carrier to assist in the transition of the OP&F sponsored benefit. Survivors have opportunities to participate in a health care plan. This will be explained in the presented material.

Contact:
Ohio Police & Fire Pension Fund
140 East Town Street
Columbus, OH 43215
Phone: (614) 228-2975
Toll Free: (800) 860-9599
Website: www.op-f.org
Email: [email protected]


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Benefits offered from Ohio Safety Officers College Memorial Fund. Recipients may enroll for full-time or part-time study at any participating Ohio post-secondary institution. The Fund provides benefits which cover full instructional and general fee charges at public colleges and universities, and a portion of these costs at private post-secondary institutions. Currently, recipients receive up to $3,270 for costs at Ohio private post-secondary institutions.

Must be a resident under age 26, or under age 30 if honorably discharged from the Armed Services of the United States.

An unmarried child between 18-22 who is a full time student at an accredited Ohio college or university may receive an extended benefit of $184.80 per month via the Survivor’s Dependents Fund (see above if eligible).

Contact:
Ohio Board of Regents
State Grants and Scholarships Department
30 East Broad Street, 36th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3414
Phone: (614) 466-6000
Toll Free: (888) 833-1133
Fax: (614) 466-5866
Website: www.ohiohighered.org/sgs
Email: [email protected]


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Same as for children, except for age restriction.

Contact:
Ohio Board of Regents
State Grants and Scholarships Department
30 East Broad Street, 36th Floor
Columbus, OH 43215-3414
Phone: (614) 466-6000
Toll Free: (888) 833-1133
Fax: (614) 466-5866
Website: www.ohiohighered.org/sgs
Email: [email protected]


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Provides educational support.

Contact:
Kids’ Chance of Ohio
c/o Denise Evans, President
435 Elm Street, Suite 700
Cincinnati, OH 45202
Phone: (513) 852-4806
Website: www.kidschanceohio.org
Email: [email protected]

$1,000.00 Death Benefit to the beneficiary within 24 hours of the death. The firefighter must be a member of a Fire/EMS Department & Ohio State Firefighters Association and enrolled into the line of duty death benefit program. The firefighter must keep an updated beneficiary form on file.

Contact:
Ohio State Firefighters Association
P.O. Box 400
Mogadore, Ohio 44260-0400
Phone: (800) 825-OSFA (6732)
Website: www.ohiofirefighters.org

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.