Oregon Survivor Benefits

Updated November 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

A one-time payment of $25,000 shall be awarded to the deceased firefighter’s family member or designee who fills out the initial application for an award of benefits through the Public Safety Memorial Fund. The Public Safety Memorial Fund Board may also award a discretionary benefit of a one-time payment to cover the survivor’s mortgage for up to 12 months worth of payments.

In addition, the Oregon Department of General Services requires every firefighter in the service of a public employer to be covered by a life insurance policy at no cost to the firefighter. This policy pays out $10,000 for a Line of Duty Death. Coverage can be expanded to a group term life insurance policy for up to $30,000 for an additional cost to the firefighter. Contact the firefighter’s public employer for more information.

Contact:

Public Safety Memorial Fund Board
Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

4190 Aumsville Highway SE
Salem, OR 97317
Phone: (503) 378-2100
E-mail: lbassler@dpsst.state.or.us
Website: https://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/MF/pages/index.aspx

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Sections 243.005, 243.956)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Note that firefighters working in cities that provide a disability and retirement system and have a population of over 200,000 are not covered by workers’ compensation. As of 2017, this only applies to the city of Portland. See the Retirement/Pension Plan section for details.

Effective 1 July 2018 through 30 June 2019, the State Average Weekly Wage used to compute workers’ compensation benefits is $1,007.05.

The monthly benefit for a surviving spouse or domestic partner is 4.35 times 66 and 2/3 percent of the SAWW, or $2,920.59 per month through 30 June 2019. This payment shall cease at the end of the month in which the remarriage occurs. Upon remarriage, a surviving spouse must be paid 36 times the monthly benefit in a lump sum.

The monthly benefit to each child of under 19 years of age, or who is 19 to 26 years of age with a surviving parent and completing secondary education, obtaining a general educational development certificate (GED), or attending a program of higher education is 4.35 times 25 percent of the SAWW, or $1,095.17 per month through 30 June 2019. Children between 19 and 26 without a surviving parent that are in school as mentioned above shall receive 4.35 times 66 and 2/3 percent of the SAWW, or $2,920.59 per month through 30 June 2019. Children between 19 and 26 shall only receive this benefit while actually enrolled full time and for a maximum of 48 months (4 years).

The total benefits provided for a spouse and dependent children may not exceed 4.35 times 133-1/3 percent of the SAWW, or $5,840.74 per month through 30 June 2019. If the sum of the individual benefits exceeds this maximum, the benefit for each child must be reduced proportionally.

If a worker leaves any other dependents, they shall each receive a monthly payment equal to 50 percent of the average monthly support the dependent actually received from the firefighter during the 12 months preceding their death. Payments to a dependent cease when that dependent turns 19, or such a time that the dependency would have terminated had the firefighter not died. The total benefits provided for other dependents may not exceed 4.35 times 10 percent of the average weekly wage, or $438.07 per month through 30 June 2019. If the sum of the individual benefits exceeds this maximum, the benefit for each dependent must be reduced proportionally.

Payments to an invalid child or other dependent continue so long as they remain an invalid.

Contact:

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division
350 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97309-0405
Phone: (503) 947-7840
Fax: (503) 947-7630
E-mail: workcomp.questions@oregon.gov
Website: wcd.oregon.gov

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 656.204)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Death or impairment caused by any disease of the lungs or respiratory tract, hypertension or cardiovascular-renal disease is considered an occupational disease presumed to result from a firefighter’s employment for firefighters of any political division. The firefighter must have completed serving 5 or more years as a firefighter and have taken a physical examination which failed to reveal any evidence of such condition which preexisted employment. A claim may be denied by clear and convincing evidence that the condition is unrelated to the firefighter’s employment.

The following cancer presumption only applies to non-volunteer firefighters. Death or impairment caused by brain cancer, colon cancer, stomach cancer, testicular cancer, prostate cancer, multiple myeloma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, cancer of the throat or mouth, rectal cancer, breast cancer or leukemia is considered an occupational disease presumed to result from a firefighter’s employment for firefighters of any political division. The firefighter must have completed serving 5 or more years as a firefighter and the cancer must have first been diagnosed by a physician after 1 July 2009. A claim may be denied by clear and convincing medical evidence, including tobacco use, that the condition was not caused or contributed to in material part by the firefighter’s employment. This presumption is valid for up to 84 months (7 years) following termination of employment. This presumption is not valid for firefighters diagnosed with prostate cancer at or over the age of 55.

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 656.802)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

For firefighters covered under Workers’ Compensation, funeral and related expenses must be paid, not to exceed 20 times the state average weekly wage, or $20,141.00 through 30 June 2019.

Contact:

Oregon Workers’ Compensation Division
350 Winter Street NE
Salem, OR 97309-0405
Phone: (503) 947-7840
Fax: (503) 947-7630
E-mail: workcomp.questions@oregon.gov
Website: wcd.oregon.gov

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 656.204)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Call/Volunteer Firefighters:
Fire districts and cities in Oregon with volunteer departments have the option of joining the Oregon Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP). Specifics of the Program are determined by the district or city.

Contact:

Oregon Fire District Directors Association
Attn: Laureal Williams
1284 Court Street
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: (503) 378-0896
Toll Free: (800) 223-9708
Fax: (503) 364-9919
E-mail: genoa@ofdda.com
Website: http://ofdda.com/

Career Firefighters:
Pension benefits vary due to length of service, service start date, and enrollment in the Public Employees Retirement System and/or the Public Safety Retirement System.

Contact:

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System
11410 SW 68th Parkway
Tigard, OR 97223
Phone: (888) 320-7377
Contact: Contact Us Form
Website: https://www.oregon.gov/pers/Pages/index.aspx

For firefighters covered under the Portland Fire & Police Disability & Retirement plan, the surviving spouse or dependent children are eligible for a pension of 75 percent of the firefighter’s base pay until the date the firefighter would be eligible to retire, then 50 percent of the firefighter’s final pay after that. This may vary based on when the firefighter joined the FPDR; contact the FPDR for more details.

Contact:

Fire & Police Disability & Retirement
1800 SW First Ave, Room 450
Portland, OR 97201
Phone: (503) 823-6823
Fax: (503) 823-5166
Website: www.portlandoregon.gov/fpdr


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

In addition to the benefits listed above, the Public Safety Memorial Fund offers a scholarship as a discretionary benefit. Children of deceased firefighters can use this scholarship to cover tuition for a graduate school program. The scholarship amount varies but cannot exceed the highest tuition charged by an Oregon university for a graduate program.

Contact:

Public Memorial Fund Board
Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

4190 Aumsville Highway SE
Salem, OR 97317
Phone: (503) 378-2100
E-mail: lbassler@dpsst.state.or.us
Website: https://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/MF/pages/index.aspx

The Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant is available to the children of career firefighters. Children must be under the age of 25 and not have previously achieved a baccalaureate or higher degree. The award amount shall be equal to the amount of tuition and all standard fees, reduced by any amounts received in state and federal aid grants, up to a maximum of $13,000 per academic year. Students can renew this scholarship yearly, for up to 4 academic years or until they turn 25. This scholarship must be used at a 2 or 4 year college in the state of Oregon.

Contact:

Office of Student Access & Completion
1500 Valley River Drive, Suite 100
Eugene, OR 97401
Phone: (541) 687-7400
Fax: (541) 687-7414
Contact: Contact Us Form
Website: oregonstudentaid.gov/ddpso-grant.aspx


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Spouses are eligible for the Public Safety Memorial Fund as described above. They are not eligible for the Deceased or Disabled Public Safety Officer Grant.

Contact:

Public Memorial Fund Board
Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

4190 Aumsville Highway SE
Salem, OR 97317
Phone: (503) 378-2100
E-mail: lbassler@dpsst.state.or.us
Website: https://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/MF/pages/index.aspx

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Sections 243.956, 348.270)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Kids’ Chance of Oregon

Attn: Scholarship Committee
P.O. Box 1728
Lake Oswego, Oregon 97035
Phone: (503) 323-2812
E-mail: info@kidschanceoforegon.com
Website: https://www.kidschanceoforegon.com/

Kids’ Chance of Oregon offers scholarships to students with a parent who has been seriously or fatally injured in a workplace accident in the state of Oregon. The applicant must be aged 16-25. Applicant must be enrolled, accepted or applying for acceptance at a full-time or part-time student at a university, college or technical school or Oregon registered apprentice program. The scholarships vary in amount based on demonstrated need and available funds.

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

The Public Safety Memorial Fund Board may award a discretionary benefit in the form of a health and dental policy premium reimbursement. This Benefit is available for a qualifying spouse for up to five years or until remarriage, and until a child or dependent attains the age of 18, or if the dependent is attending school, age 23.

Contact:

Public Safety Memorial Fund Board
Department of Public Safety Standards and Training

4190 Aumsville Highway SE
Salem, OR 97317
Phone: (503) 378-2100
E-mail: lbassler@dpsst.state.or.us
Website: https://www.oregon.gov/DPSST/MF/pages/index.aspx

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Sections 243.867, 243.868)

TAX ABATEMENT

Oregon state law allows for counties to provide that up to $250,000 of assessed value of a surviving spouse’s homestead located in the county shall be exempt from ad valorem property taxes imposed by all taxing jurisdictions on the homestead. Surviving spouses of paid or volunteer firefighters are eligible for this benefit so long as they remain unmarried. Check with your county government to see if this benefit has been adopted. See Tax Form OR-E-310675 for full information about the benefit should it have been adopted in your county.

(Reference: Oregon Revised Statutes, Section 307.295)

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.