Pennsylvania Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

The Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefits Act provides for a one-time payment of death benefits to the surviving spouse, minor children, or parents of firefighters killed in the performance of their duties. It is adjusted annually. If no spouse, then payment goes to children under age 21; if no children, then to parents. Benefit covers deaths that occurred as a result of the performance of duties. For 2013-2014, the benefit is $123,277.64.

Contact:
Department of General Services
Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management
Room 406, North Office Building (Physical Address)
Harrisburg, PA 17125
Phone: (717) 787-2492
Website: www.portal.state.pa.us

Department of General Services
Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management
PO Box 1365 (Mailing Address)
Harrisburg, PA 17105

(Reference: Pennsylvania ACT 101)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Benefit is 51% of the deceased employee’s average gross wages to spouse with no children, 60% to spouse with one child, or 66 2/3% to spouse with two or more children. Wages used for basis cannot be in excess of statewide average weekly wage. Children are considered dependent until age 18, age 23 if a full-time student, or longer if disabled. Children include stepchildren, adopted children, and other situations. Upon remarriage, spouse receives two-year lump sum and benefits terminate. If spouse cohabitates, no lump sum is awarded and benefits terminate. Death from diseases of the heart and lungs may also be considered.

Volunteer Firefighters: Volunteers are considered employees for the purpose of Workers’ Compensation. Survivors receive state’s average weekly wage using same percentage breakdown (51%-60%-66 2/3%).

Contact:
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Department of Labor & Industry
1171 S. Cameron Street, Room 324
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2501
Phone: (717) 783-5421
Toll Free: (800) 362-4228
Website: www.dli.state.pa.us
Email: [email protected]

(Reference: WC Act of PA 307.1-6)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $3,000 for burial expenses.

Contact:
Bureau of Workers’ Compensation
Department of Labor & Industry
1171 S. Cameron Street, Room 324
Harrisburg, PA 17104-2501
Phone: (717) 783-5421
Toll Free: (800) 362-4228
Website: www.dli.state.pa.us
Email: [email protected]


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career Firefighters: Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System administers individual pension plans for firefighters. If a firefighter covered under a plan dies in the line of duty, the spouse or minor children will receive approximately 50% of the monthly benefit the firefighter was eligible to receive if retired. Unless the employee selected a Single Life Annuity, the beneficiary will receive a monthly benefit. If the firefighter dies before being eligible for a normal or voluntary early retirement benefit, the firefighter’s accumulated deductions will be paid to the beneficiary.

Contact:
Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System
P.O. Box 1165 (Mailing Address)
Harrisburg, PA 17108-1165
Phone: (717) 787-2065
Toll Free: (800) 622-7968
Fax: (717) 783-8363
Website: www.pmrs.state.pa.us
Email: [email protected]

Pennsylvania Municipal Retirement System
East Gate Center (Physical Address)
1010 N. 7th St, Suite 301
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1400


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program provides waiver of tuition, fees, and room and board to children of firefighters who died after January 1, 1976, as the direct result of performing their official duties.

To qualify, child must be a state resident, attend a state institution full-time, be age 25 or under, and be enrolled in an academic program leading to an associate or bachelor’s degree. To be eligible for this benefit, the child must have applied for other available scholarships, including state and federal grants. Adopted children are also covered under this benefit.

Contact:
Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program
PHEAA State Grant and Special Programs
PO Box 8157 (Mailing Address)
Harrisburg, PA 17105-8157
Phone: (717) 720-2860
Toll Free: (800) 692-7392
Fax: (717) 720-3786
Website: www.pheaa.org

Postsecondary Educational Gratuity Program
PHEAA (Physical Address)
1200 N. 7th St
Harrisburg, PA 17102-1444


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Provides one-time death benefit and scholarship opportunities for survivors of Association members.

Contact:
Firemen’s Association of the State of Pennsylvania
484 Allegheny Avenue, Suite 2D
Franklin, PA 16323
Phone: (814) 432-5080
Toll Free: (866) 753-FASP
Website: www.pafirefighters.org

Kids’ Chance of Pennsylvania offers scholarships for children age 16-25 whose parent died from a work-related accident which qualified for compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Law and resulted in financial need. Must attend an accredited, postsecondary institution. Deadline for application is April 15th of each year.

Contact:
Kids’ Chance of Pennsylvania
P.O. Box 543
Pottstown, PA 19464
Phone: (610) 970-9143
Fax: (610) 970-7520
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: www.kidschanceofpa.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.