West Virginia Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

The West Virginia Fire and EMS Survivor Benefits Act was passed on March 3, 2007. It provides a $50,000 one time death benefit for firefighters and EMTs – career, volunteer and part-paid.

Contact:
Office of the Governor
State Capitol
1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-2000
Toll Free: (888) 438-2731
Website: www.governor.wv.gov/Pages/default.aspx

(Reference: House Bill 2801 passed on 03/10/2007)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Spousal benefit is 70% of the employee’s average weekly wages. Minimum and maximum amounts apply. Upon remarriage, spousal benefit is terminated. Children are considered dependent until age 18, age 25 if full-time student at an accredited school, or longer to an invalid child if incapable of self-support.

Volunteer firefighters: All volunteer departments are considered employers and are required to subscribe to the state fund and pay premiums for the protection of their employees. If the firefighter had no other source of employment, the benefit rate is the state minimum.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) Benefits: An injured worker’s wage paid is 66 2/3%. Wage may not exceed Federal minimum hourly wage. Maximum period of payment is to age 65 or for the length of the disability, whichever is shorter. The injured worker may reduce payments and provide an annuity at death for surviving dependents.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation Division
P.O. Box 50540 (Mailing Address)
Charleston, WV 25305-0540
Phone: (304) 558-5230
Toll Free: (888) 879-9842
Website: www.wvinsurance.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=315

Workers’ Compensation Division
1124 Smith St (Physical Address)
Charleston, WV 25301

(Reference: West Virginia Code Chapter 23)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $5,000 for burial expenses.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation Division
P.O. Box 50540 (Mailing Address)
Charleston, WV 25305-0540
Phone: (304) 558-5230
Toll Free: (888) 879-9842
Website: www.wvinsurance.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=315

Workers’ Compensation Division
1124 Smith St (Physical Address)
Charleston, WV 25301

(Reference: West Virginia Code Chapter 23)

RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN


Career firefighters: Must be a member of the West Virginia Public Employees Retirement System to receive benefits. If the firefighter is in a permanent, full-time position, participation in a retirement plan is mandatory. If the firefighter has 10 or fewer years of service, a lump sum distribution of employee contributions and interest is made to the beneficiary. If the firefighter has more than 10 years of service and a surviving spouse, the spouse will receive an annuity for life computed under Option A of the plan. If the firefighter has 10 or more years of service and is not married, benefits are payable to dependent children until they marry, reach age 21, or become emancipated.

Or, Contact the local department benefit’s officer if a member was not part of the WV-PERS as several of the larger cities provide independent retirement systems.

Work Related Disability –An active member of PERS may qualify for a work related total and permanent disability retirement with no minimum years of service required. He or she must be receiving (or have received) Workers’ Compensation benefits on account of such disability.

Disability benefits shall not be less than 50% of a member’s Final Average Salary. At age 65 the benefits are calculated on actual years of service, and may be reduced, but the straight life benefit or equivalent may not be less than 20% of the Final Average Salary.

Contact:
State of West Virginia Consolidated Public Retirement Board
4101 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, WV 25304-1636
(Kanawha City)
Phone: (304) 558-3570
Toll Free: (800) 654-4406
Fax: (304) 558-1394
Website: www.wvretirement.com
E-mail: CPRB@wvretirement.com


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Tuition waived and some fees covered at state institutions of higher learning. Covers full-time undergraduate education for no more than four years.

Contact:
West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Boulevard East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301-2800
Phone:(304) 558-2101
Fax: (304) 558-5719
Website: wvhepcnew.wvnet.edu

(Reference: West Virginia Code § 18B-10)

EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

Tuition waived and some fees covered at state institutions of higher learning. Covers full-time undergraduate education for no more than four years.

Contact: West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
1018 Kanawha Boulevard East, Suite 700
Charleston, WV 25301-2800
Phone: (304) 558-2101
Fax: (304) 558-5719
Website: wvhepcnew.wvnet.edu

(Reference: West Virginia Code § 18B-10)

NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

The Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation
1600 Huntington Square, 900 Lee Street East
PO Box 3041Charleston, WV 25331
Phone:(304) 346-3620
Toll Free: (800) 467-5909
Website: www.tgkvf.org
E-mail: tgkvf@tgkvf.org

The Kids’ Chance of West Virginia, administered by the Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation, is designed to provide scholarships to children ages 16-25 whose parent has been fatally injured in a WV work-related accident or whose parent is currently receiving Permanent Total Disability benefits from the WV Workers Compensation Division. The scholarship recipients are chosen based on academic performance, leadership abilities, and demonstrated and potential contributions to school and community.

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.


 

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.