Texas Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated March 2016

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

$500,000 lump sum payment to eligible spouse if firefighter died in performance of duty and from exposure to a risk. If no spouse, payment in equal shares to children, with no limit on age. If no eligible surviving spouse or children, payment to parents in equal shares. The program also provides a monthly benefit for the firefighter’s minor children. The monthly benefit totals $400 for one child, $600 for two children and $800 for three or more children. Payments are made to the appointed guardian or legal representative.

Career firefighters: Career firefighters: Spouse and dependent children are eligible for continued health & dental insurance benefits.

Contact:
Employees Retirement System of Texas
P.O. Box 13207 (Mailing Address)
Austin, TX 78711-3207
Phone: (512) 867-7711
Toll Free: (877) 275-4377
Fax: (512) 867-7438
Website: www.ers.state.tx.us

Contact:
Employees Retirement System of Texas
200 E. 18th St (Physical Address)
Austin, TX 78701

(Reference:Texas Government Code Chapter 615.022)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Workers Compensation is a state benefit in Texas. However, workers’ compensation is not mandatory for career or volunteer firefighters so this benefit may not apply to all firefighters. For those firefighters covered under workers’ compensation, weekly benefit of 75% of employee’s average weekly wage paid 50% to surviving spouse and 50% divided equally among dependent children. If no spouse survives, children receive total benefit, and vice versa. Children are eligible for benefits until age 18, age 25 if a full-time student, or longer if disabled. Lifetime benefit for spouse who does not remarry. Upon remarriage, spouse receives a two-year lump sum and benefits terminate.

Contact:
Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers’ Compensation
7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100 (Physical Address)
Austin, TX 78744-1645
OR
Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers’ Compensation
P.O. Box 149104 (Mailing Address)
Austin, TX 78714
Toll Free: (800) 252-3439
Website: www.tdi.state.tx.us/wc/

(Reference:Texas Workers’ Compensation Act Sections 408.181; Rules 132.1 – 132.17)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Workers’ compensation is not mandatory for career or volunteer firefighters so this benefit may not apply. For those firefighters covered under workers’ compensation, maximum of $6,000 for burial expenses, plus the cost of transporting the body to the home area.

Contact:
Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers’ Compensation
7551 Metro Center Drive, Suite 100 (Physical Address)
Austin, TX 78744-1645
OR
Texas Department of Insurance
Division of Workers’ Compensation
P.O. Box 149104 (Mailing Address)
Austin, TX 78714
Toll Free: (800) 252-3439
Website: www.tdi.state.tx.us/wc/

(Reference:Texas Workers’ Compensation Act Sections 408.181; Rules 132.1 – 132.17)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN


Volunteer and auxiliary firefighters: Texas Statewide Emergency Services Personnel Retirement Act provides a lump-sum payment of at least $60,000 to the beneficiary and monthly pension payments equal to 66 2/3% of the member’s full retirement annuity to be shared equally between spouse and minor children. Children are eligible until age 18, age 19 if full-time student, or if the child became disabled before his or her 22nd birthday and remains incapable of self-support. This is a lifetime benefit for the spouse. Department must participate in the plan for firefighter to receive benefits.

Contact:
Texas Emergency Services Retirement System
P.O. Box 12577
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 936-3372
Toll Free: (844) TXHEROES
Fax: (512) 936-3480
Website: www.tesrs.texas.gov

TMRS: For survivors of those firefighters who participated in the TMRS Supplementary Death Benefit program, there is a one-time lump sum payment approximately equal to one year’s salary based on the 12 months immediately preceding the month of death.

Contact:
Texas Municipal Retirement System
P.O. Box 149153
Austin, TX 78714-9153
Phone: (512) 476-7577
Toll Free: (800) 924-8677
Fax: (512) 476-5576
Website: www.tmrs.com
E-mail: phonecenter@tmrs.com

Career firefighters: If firefighter was a vested Texas Municipal Retirement System member, the beneficiary who was a spouse may select a monthly benefit to begin immediately, payable for either 15 years or for lifetime. The monthly benefit includes the city manager’s matching funds and any other credits that would be used to calculate normal retirement. Withdrawal in a lump sum does not include city manager’s matching funds. City may also choose to include a supplemental death benefit of $7,500.

Contact:
Texas Municipal Retirement System
P.O. Box 149153
Austin, TX 78714-9153
Phone: (512) 476-7577
Toll Free: (800) 924-8677
Fax: (512) 476-5576
Website: www.tmrs.com
E-mail: phonecenter@tmrs.com

(Reference:TMRS handbook Page 44-46)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

For deaths occurring before September 1, 2001: Tuition, dues, fees, and charges waived at public state institutions. Does not include lodging, board, or clothing. May be used at public junior colleges, senior colleges, and universities. Can be used for eight semesters and is not restricted to undergraduate education. Applicant must be age 21 or under when first applying.

For deaths occurring on or after September 1, 2001: Student exempt from tuition and fees at institution of higher education until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or 200 hours of college credit, whichever occurs first. If the student elects to reside in housing provided by the institution and qualifies to reside there, the institution shall pay the cost of the student’s contract for housing and food, as well as the cost of the student’s textbooks, until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or 200 hours or course credit, whichever occurs first.

Contact:
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Capitol Station
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 427-6101
Toll Free: (800) 242-3062
Website: www.thecb.state.tx.us

(Reference: Texas Education Code Article 54.354)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

For deaths occurring before September 1, 2001: no benefits.

For deaths occurring on or after September 1, 2001: Student exempt from tuition and fees at institution of higher education until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or 200 hours of college credit, whichever occurs first. If the student elects to reside in housing provided by the institution and qualifies to reside there, the institution shall pay the cost of the student’s contract for housing and food, as well as the cost of the student’s textbooks, until the student receives a bachelor’s degree or 200 hours or course credit, whichever occurs first.

Contact:
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Capitol Station
P.O. Box 12788
Austin, TX 78711
Phone: (512) 427-6101
Toll Free: (800) 242-3062
Website: www.thecb.state.tx.us


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Fleetwood Memorial Foundation
501 South Fielder Road
Arlington, TX 76013
Phone: (817) 825-6699
Fax: (817) 542-0839
Website: www.fleetwoodmemorial.org
Grants awarded up to $10,000. Designed to provide immediate financial relief. Funds also available for education expenses in state public institutions for the dependent children.

Williams-Pyro Firefighters Fund
200 Greenleaf Street
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 872-1500
Fax: (888) 616-7976
Website: www.williams-pyro.com
E-mail: information@williams-pyro.com
Provides grants to the families based on need.

Kids’ Chance – State Fund Scholarship Program
c/o Texas Mutual Insurance Company
6210 East Highway 290
Austin, TX 78723-1098
Phone: (800) 859-5995 x 3820
Fax: (512) 224-3999
E-mail: tmcvea@texasmutal.com (Temetria McVea)
Provides grants to the families based on need.

Woodmen of the World
Woodmen Tower
1700 Farnham St
Omaha, NE 68102
Phone: (800) 225-3108
Website: www.woodmen.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.


CRIME VICTIMS

Texas Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund. Firefighter’s death must have been the result of a violent crime such as arson. Survivors are eligible to receive up to $50,000 to help cover medical costs, counseling, loss of wages, childcare, funeral expenses, and other costs.

Crime Victims’ Compensation Program
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. Box 121548 (Mailing Address)
Austin, TX 78711-2548
Phone: (512) 463-2100
Toll Free: (800) 252-8011
Fax: (512) 475-2994
Website: www.oag.state.tx.us
E-mail: crimevictims@oag.state.tx.us

Crime Victims’ Compensation Program
Office of the Attorney General
300 W. 15th St (Physical Address)
Austin, TX 78701


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.