Washington Survivor Benefits

Survivor BenefitsUpdated October 2013

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

Career Firefighters
A one-time death benefit of $214,000 for all public jurisdiction firefighters killed as a result of injuries received or sickness contracted in the performance of duties. Line-of-duty death amount is subject to annual cost-of-living adjustment.

Contact:
Law Enforcement Officers’ and Fire Fighters’ Retirement System
Department of Retirement Systems
P.O. Box 48380 (Mailing Address)
Olympia, WA 98504-8380
Phone: (360) 664-7000
Toll Free: (800) 547-6657
Website: www.drs.wa.gov

Law Enforcement Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement System
Department of Retirement Systems
6835 Capitol Boulevard (Physical Address)
Tumwater, WA 98501

Volunteer firefighters:
Benefit amount is $150,000. Paid only where death occurs as a result of injuries sustained in the course of employment or to a member of plan 2 as a result of an occupational disease or infection that arises naturally and proximately out of employment. The Retirement System will send to Workers’ Compensation for authorization.

Contact:
State Board for Volunteer Fire Fighters and Reserve Officers
Olympia Forum Building
605 E. 11th Avenue #112
P.O. Box 114
Olympia, WA 98507
Phone: (360) 753-7318
Toll Free: (877) 753-7318
Fax: (360) 586-1987
Website:www.bvff.wa.gov

The Washington State Fire Fighters Association offers a $1,000 line of duty death benefit to its members along with a $2,500 Accidental Death and Dismemberment policy.

Contact:
Washington State Firefighters’ Association
PMB 117 – 1010 E 4th Ave
Olympia, WA 98506-4632
Toll Free: (800) 340-8023
Website: www.wsffa.org

(Reference: Washington RCW 41.24, Volunteer Firefighters’ & Reserve Officers’ Relief and Pensions)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

Career firefighters: Immediate cash payment equal to 100% of the state’s average monthly wage; amount adjusted annually. Spouse receives 60% of employee’s wages with an additional 2% per child, up to a total of 70%. Minimum and maximum amounts apply and are adjusted annually. Children are considered dependent until age 18, age 23 if a full-time student at an accredited school, or longer if disabled. Upon remarriage, spouse receives lump-sum settlement of 24 times the monthly compensation rate or 50% of the remaining annuity value, whichever is less, and benefits terminate. Spouse may elect not to take lump-sum payment, in which case pension payments resume if the remarriage ends in death or divorce. In addition, medical bills related to firefighter’s work-related injuries or death are paid.

Volunteer firefighters: Medical bills related to firefighter’s work-related injuries or death are paid.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. Box 44000 (Mailing Address)
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
Phone: (360) 902-5800
Fax: (360) 902-5798
Website: www.lni.wa.gov

Workers’ Compensation
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW (Physical Address)
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414


FUNERAL BENEFIT

Volunteer firefighters: Maximum $2,000 funeral voucher. For firefighters killed as a result of injuries received or sickness contracted in the performance of duties.

Contact:
State Board for Volunteer Fire Fighters and Reserve Officers
Olympia Forum Building
605 E. 11th Avenue #112
P.O. Box 114
Olympia, WA 98507
Phone: (360) 753-7318
Toll Free: (877) 753-7318
Website: www.bvff.wa.gov

(Reference: RCW 41.24.230)

Career firefighters: Maximum burial benefit of 200% of the state’s average monthly wage for the preceding year; amount adjusted annually.

Contact:
Workers’ Compensation
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
P.O. Box 44000 (Mailing Address)
Olympia, WA 98504-4000
Phone: (360) 902-5800
Fax: (360) 902-5798
Website: www.lni.wa.gov

Workers’ Compensation
Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
7273 Linderson Way SW (Physical Address)
Tumwater, WA 98501-5414


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Volunteer firefighters: Spouse receives $1,688 per month, plus an additional $145 for each child under 18. Benefits are adjusted annually based on the Consumer Price Index. Additional provisions for dependent parents if no spouse or dependent children. Maximum of $2,550 per month. Benefits cease upon remarriage. For firefighters killed as a result of injuries received or sickness contracted in the performance of duties.

Contact:
State Board for Volunteer Fire Fighters and Reserve Officers
Olympia Forum Building
605 E. 11th Avenue #112
P.O. Box 114
Olympia, WA 98507
Phone: (360) 753-7318
Toll Free: (877) 753-7318
Website: www.bvff.wa.gov

Career firefighters:
Plan 1 – For members of the Retirement System before October 1, 1977, spouse will receive a monthly benefit equal to 50% of the deceased firefighter’s final average salary if death occurred while in service plus an additional 5% for each dependent child, up to 60% total benefit. If no spouse, child receives a benefit equal to 30% of the deceased firefighter’s final average salary plus 10% for each additional child, up to 60%. Benefit is divided equally among all children.

Plan 2 – For members of the Retirement System on or after October 1, 1977, if fewer than 10 years of service and ineligible to retire, beneficiary receives all accumulated contributions. If 10 or more years of service or eligible to retire, the beneficiary may accept a payment of 150% of the deceased firefighter’s accumulated contributions or choose to receive a monthly benefit as if the firefighter had retired on the date of death.

The retirement allowance of a member killed in the course of employment shall include reimbursement for any payments of premium rates to the Washington state health care authority.

Health Care: Under Plan 2, survivors are also entitled to free health care benefits through the Public Employees Eneenfits Board (PEBB). Health care is paid for survivors lifetime and for children until they are no longer eligible under PEBB rules.

Contact:
Law Enforcement Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement System
Department of Retirement Systems
P.O. Box 48380 (Mailing Address)
Olympia, WA 98504-8380
Phone: (360) 664-7000
Toll Free: (800) 547-6657
Website: www.drs.wa.gov

Law Enforcement Officers’ and Firefighters’ Retirement System
Department of Retirement Systems
6835 Capitol Boulevard (Physical Address)
Tumwater, WA 98501


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

State and regional universities and the Evergreen State College may exempt all or a portion of tuition, services, and activities fees for the children of firefighters who have been killed in the line of duty. Must begin course of study at a state-supported college or university within 10 years of graduation from high school. Each state institution individually determines the amount of benefit.

Contact:
Higher Education Coordinating Board
P.O. Box 43430 (Mailing Address)
Olympia, WA 98504-3430
Phone: (360) 753-7800
Website: www.hecb.wa.gov
E-mail: [email protected]

Higher Education Coordinating Board
917 Lakeridge Way SW (Physical Address)
Olympia, WA 98502


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

Washington State Fire Fighters’ Spouse and Orphan’s Fund
PO Box 27
Olympia, WA 98930-0027
Phone: (253) 445-9624
Website: www.wasofund.org/index.html
E-mail: [email protected]

Immediate financial relief to the families of firefighters killed in the line of duty if the deceased firefighter was a member in good standing of the Washington State Fire Fighters’ Association. Firefighter must have joined the Fund prior to age 45 for the beneficiary to receive the benefit. The benefit amount as of 2012 is $1,617.00.

Kids’ Chance of Washington
Washington State Council of Firefighters
P.O. Box 185
Olympia, WA 98507-0185
Phone: (800) 572-5762
Fax: (360) 943-2333
Website: www.kidschancewa.com
E-mail: [email protected]

Kids’ Chance of Washington is a need-based educational scholarship program for the dependent children and spouses of workers killed or seriously disabled in a workplace accident in Washington.

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.


BENEVOLENT FUND

Washington State Council of Fire Fighters
1069 Adams St SE
Olympia, WA 98501
Phone: (360) 943-3030
Fax: (360) 943-2333
Website: www.wscff.org

Career firefighters:
Are covered by a $60,000 Disability Insurance program through the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters Benevolent Fund. Additionally, in the event of a line-of-duty death, the surviving spouse and children are eligible for employer based disability coverage of $20,000-$50,000 as determined by their employer.

Volunteer firefighters:
In the event of a line-of-duty death, the surviving spouse and children are eligible for employer based disability coverage of $20,000-$50,000 as determined by the volunteer requirements as set forth by each fire district.


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.