Updated December 2018
ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT
South Carolina does not have a one-time death benefit payment for its firefighters.
A weekly payment equal to 66-2/3% of the workers’ average weekly wages up to the state’s average weekly wage, for a period of 500 weeks from the date of the injury shall be paid to the worker’s dependents. Spouses, children under the age of 19 or under 23 if a full-time student, and children incapable of self-support are presumed to be dependents. Other family members may be considered dependent based on the particulars of the situation.
As of 1 January 2018, the state average weekly wage is $838.21.
COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES
Any impairment or injury to the health of a firefighter caused by heart disease or respiratory disease resulting in total or partial disability or death is presumed to have arisen out of and in the course of employment. The impairment must have developed while actively engaged in fighting a fire or within 24 hours from the date of last service in the activity. The firefighter must have been under the age of 37 upon entry to the service and passed a physical examination which failed to reveal any evidence of such condition.
South Carolina does not have any laws pertaining to the presumption of cancer as an occupational disease for firefighters.
Workers’ Compensation law requires employers to pay for burial expenses up to $12,000.
Length of Service Award Programs (LOSAP) provide volunteer firefighters with department provided money for use as a retirement benefit. In the case of a volunteer firefighter dying in the line of duty, a LOSAP program will pay out the full vested amount in the firefighter’s account to their survivors.
Members of the Police Officers Retirement System, which can include judges, coroners, and paid firefighters, receive a one-time payment equal to their annual compensation plus either their accumulated contributions to the system or $1,000, whichever is greater. This benefit is payable to a spouse or other designated beneficiary. The beneficiary may also be eligible for a monthly payment for the rest of their life, based on what coverage the employer has chosen.
Cities in the state of South Carolina are able to set up their own pension systems for firefighters which may offer different benefits than those listed above.
South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority
202 Arbor Lake Drive
Columbia, SC 29223
Phone: (803) 737-6800
E-mail: Contact Form
EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN
Children of firefighters, paid or volunteer, killed in the line of duty shall have their tuition waived for up to 4 years at any state-supported college, university, vocational school, or technical school. This cannot be applied toward graduate work.
South Carolina Commission on Higher Education
1122 Lady Street, Suite 300
Columbia, SC 29201
Phone: (803) 737-2260
Fax: (803) 737-2297
EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE
The above education benefit does not extend to spouses of fallen firefighters.
NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS
Kids’ Chance of South Carolina, Inc.
P.O. Box 2957
Georgetown, SC 29442-2957
Phone: (843) 546-5937
Kids’ Chance of South Carolina offers scholarships to students with a parent who has been seriously or fatally injured in a workplace accident in the state of South Carolina, causing financial need. The applicant must be under the age of 25 and have achieved a high school diploma by the time of the first disbursement of the scholarship award. Applicant must be entering to study or already studying and attending an accredited two or four-year University or vocational school. The scholarships vary in amount based on demonstrated need and available funds, and are available for up to 4 years.
South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association
SCSFA offers the following benefits to its members in the case of death: $5,000 accidental death, $25,000 LODD or covered illness, and $10,000 dependent child benefit. The SCSFA also has a retirement plan which pays out the full vested amount in the firefighter’s account balance.
Contact: South Carolina State Firefighters’ Association
The International Association of Fire Fighters
1750 New York Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20006
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.
Spouses and children covered under the State Health Plan, State Dental Plan or State Vision Plan through the South Carolina Public Employee Benefit Authority shall have their health and dental premiums waived for the first year after the firefighter’s death. After that they may elect to continue coverage with some employers contributing part of the premium.
Reach out to your fire department’s benefits coordinator for full details.
A surviving spouse is exempt from the property tax on their primary residence and up to an acre of land on which it resides so long as the spouse remains unmarried and owns the residence in fee or for life.
South Carolina Department of Revenue Main Office
FUNERAL & CREMATION BENEFITS
Phone: (800) 343-4464
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)
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
- Allendale County Survivor Benefits
- Beaufort County Survivor Benefits
- Colleton County Survivor Benefits
- Dillon County Survivor Benefits
- Florence County Survivor Benefits
- Greenville County Survivor Benefits
- Horry County Survivor Benefits
- Jasper County Survivor Benefits
- Spartanburg County Survivor 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.