South Dakota Survivor Benefits

Updated November 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

There is no one-time death benefit for LODD survivors in South Dakota.


WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career firefighters
Spousal benefit is 66 2/3% of average earnings, paid in installments plus a monthly allowance for each dependent child. Benefit payable to spouse until death or remarriage. Upon remarriage, spouse is paid a lump sum equal to two years of compensation and benefits terminate. Children eligible until age 18, age 22 if a full-time student, or for life if incapable of self-support. An additional $50 per month will be paid to each of your legally dependent children until that child reaches the age of 18 years.

Volunteer firefighters
Benefit is calculated at the state’s maximum compensation allowable for death or injury.

Education Benefit
A deceased employee’s dependents (children and spouse) are each also entitled to a $2,000 a year (for up to five years) benefit if they are enrolled in an accredited SD post-secondary educational institution.

Contact:

South Dakota Workers’ Compensation
Division of Labor and Management
South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

123 W Missouri Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3681
Fax: (605) 773-4211
Website: www.sdjobs.org

(Reference: SD Codified Laws Chapter 62-4-8, 12-15)

COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

Pursuant to SD pension law (§9-16-3.2), a firefighter may make a claim for impairment caused by cancer. This applies to any condition of impairment of health caused by cancer resulting in total or partial disability to an officer or member of a fire department who, upon entering the fire service, successfully passed a physical exam which failed to reveal any evidence of such condition.

Contact:

South Dakota Workers’ Compensation
Division of Labor and Management
South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

123 W Missouri Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3681
Fax: (605) 773-4211
Website: www.sdjobs.org


FUNERAL BENEFIT

When injury causes death, eligible for a maximum of $10,000 for burial expenses, including expense of a headstone grave marker. Employer also pays expense of transporting the body to the community where the employee will be buried.

Contact:

South Dakota Workers’ Compensation
Division of Labor and Management
South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

123 W Missouri Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3681
Fax: (605) 773-4211
Website: www.sdjobs.org

(Reference: SD Codified Laws Chapter 62-4-8, 12-15)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Career Firefighters

Covers career firefighters employed by city, county or state, except for Sioux City. If ki lled in the line-of-of-duty, there is no vestment threshold. The surviving spouse having the care of children shall receive an annual amount, payable in monthly installments, equal to 50% of the highest annual compensation earned by the member during any one of the last three years of service, plus 10% of such compensation for each child up to a maximum of six children. There is a provision for the purchase of additional spouse coverage. There is an annual COLA adjustment.
Generally, the family benefit equals the greater of 25 percent of Final Average Compensation at the time of the death. A surviving spouse benefit is effective and payable when your surviving spouse reaches age 65. There are permutations regarding the spouse’s age at the time of benefits beginning, so contact the SDRS regarding clarity of your situation.

Contact:

South Dakota Retirement System
222 E. Capitol Ave, Suite 8
P.O. Box 1098 (Mailing Address)
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-373-7377
Fax: (605) 773-3949
Website: www.sdrs.sd.gov

Disability and Optional Spouse coverage booklets are on the SDRS website. See Class B Public Safety Handbook

(Reference: South Dakota Retirement System, SDCL 3–12–1 to 3–12–521)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

In general, if death is a direct result of injury received in performance of official duties, undergraduate tuition is waived for children under age 21 at the time of the firefighter’s death. Must attend a state-supported institution of higher education or state-supported technical or vocational school. Benefit available for 36 months or 8 semesters. Refer to SDCL 13-55-21, 13- 55-22 and 13-55B-1 for further explanations of benefits and requirements. Benefit applicant should contact the Admissions Office of the state-supported school where attendance is desired for assistance in filing for this benefit.

Contact:

South Dakota Board of Regents
306 E. Capital Avenue, Suite 200
Pierre, SD 57501-3159
Phone: (605) 773-3455
Website: www.sdbor.edu
E-mail: info@sdbor.edu

(Regarding educational benefits, please refer to SDCL 13-55-21, 13- 55-22)

If covered under Workers’ Compensation, dependents may also be eligible for a scholarship of $2,000 per year for up to five years payable to a state post-secondary education institute.

Contact:

South Dakota Workers’ Compensation
Division of Labor and Management
South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

123 W Missouri Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3681
Fax: (605) 773-4211
Website: www.sdjobs.org

(Reference: SD Codified Laws Chapter 62-4-8, 12-15)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Workers’ Compensation scholarships will be provided to the spouses of employees who die as a result of work-related injuries. Payment maximum is $2,000 annually for a South Dakota post-secondary school.

Contact:

South Dakota Workers’ Compensation
Division of Labor and Management
South Dakota Department of Labor & Regulation

123 W Missouri Avenue
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3681
Fax: (605) 773-4211
Website: www.sdjobs.org

(Reference: SD Codified Laws Chapter 62-4-8, 12-15)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

South Dakota Firefighters Association

Division of Labor and Management
PO Box 626
Pierre, SD 57501
Phone: (605) 773-3681
Website: www.sdfirefighters.org
E-Mail: labor@dol-pr.state.sd.us

Education Benefit: The South Dakota Firefighters Association, South Dakota Firefighters Association Auxiliary and the Dear Old Timers Organization offering two $1000 scholarships to two high school student to assist in their higher education. Scholarship money will be awarded second semester, freshman year. A son or daughter of any member (living, deceased or retired) of a fire department in South Dakota or an active member of a junior fire department in South Dakota is eligible to apply for this opportunity.

Insurance Benefit: The SDFA provides AD&D insurance: Membership provides $10,000 of Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D) insurance. Member is eligible to purchase an additional $50,000 for a low cost. Policy covers on- or off-duty incidents.
Amounts up to $250,000 can now be purchased in increments of $50,000 for the Supplemental AD&D, $45.00 per $50k of desired amount, up to $250,000 death benefit.

Kids’ Chance South Dakota

c/o Renee H. Christensen
Johnson & Christensen Law Office, PC
P.O. Box 2315
431 N. Phillips Ave., Suite 300
Sioux Falls, SD 57101-2315
Website: www.sdfirefighters.org

Contact KCSD for scholarship information and calendar dates for applications.

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.


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.


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.