Wyoming Survivor Benefits

Updated November 2018

ONE-TIME DEATH BENEFIT

There is no state-wide one time death benefit. Individual counties or local jurisdictions may offer support. Contact your department’s benefit officer for assistance on this and all benefits.


COMPENSATION FOR DEATH OR DISABILITY OF FIREFIGHTERS FROM OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES

The Wyoming Presumptive Law, passed and signed into law in 2017, has greatly expanded the coverage that allows the State of Wyoming to provide the needed assistance to Wyoming’s firefighting community and their families. A firefighter who suffers from a listed disease is presumed to have developed that listed disease during the course and scope of employment. The listed disease is presumed to be an occupational disease, the dominate cause of which is the employment as a firefighter, unless the contrary is proven.

When working with agencies to apply for benefits, make sure the benefit officers are aware of the presumptive legislation if it applies. For instance, workers’ compensation and duty-related retirement claims.

Law also covers cardiovascular disease, among other acquired diseases.

View the Presumptive Disabilities law

(Reference: Wyoming Presumptive Law: W.S. 27-15-101 through 27-15-103)

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION

The surviving spouse receives payments for 100 months at a minimum of 80% of the allowed benefit based on the Wyoming Average Monthly Wage. Children are considered dependent until age 18 or until age 21 if the child is physically or mentally incapacitated. Expenses for medical or hospital care are paid. If spouse can show exceptional need, the benefit may be paid in a lump sum or partial payments.
Additionally, each dependent child receives $250 per month until age 18; amount adjusted annually and extends of student enters post-high school training or education.

An autopsy may be required to determine the cause of death.

Career Firefighters

Spousal monthly benefit shall be no less than 80% of the statewide average monthly wage. Amount cannot exceed the statewide average monthly wage.

Volunteer Firefighters

Spouse receives the maximum benefit allowable, which is the statewide average monthly wage; amount adjusted quarterly.

Contact:

State of Wyoming Department of Workforce Services
Division of Workers’ Compensation

1510 E. Pershing Blvd., 1st Floor
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7441
Fax: (307) 777-6552
Website: www.wyomingworkforce.org

(Reference: WY Revised Statutes 2007 27.14.443 (v) iii)

FUNERAL BENEFIT

Maximum of $5,000 for burial expenses, plus an additional $5,000 to cover other related expenses.

Contact:

Wyoming Workers’ Safety and Compensation Division
State of Wyoming Department of Employment

1510 E. Pershing Blvd.
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7968 or (800) 870-8883
Website: wydoe.state.wy.us


RETIREMENT/PENSION PLAN

Volunteer firefighters (Volunteer Firemen’s Pension Fund)

Must have been a member of the Fund prior to death. The surviving spouse receives a monthly lifetime payment based on the age at the time the member entered the pension plan. View the rate schedule.

Career firefighters (Firemen’s Pension Fund Act)

Plan A: For firefighters employed prior to July 1, 1981, death benefit to the surviving spouse or children is 100% of the monthly benefit payable to the firefighter. If no spouse or children, dependent parents may receive the full benefit.

Plan B: For firefighters employed after July 1, 1981, death benefit is a monthly pension of either 50% of the final average salary or the service pension, based on credited service accrued to the date of the member’s death, whichever is greater. The monthly survivor’s pension is payable to the eligible primary survivor.

Contact:

Wyoming Retirement System
Fifth Floor West
6101 Yellowstone Road
Cheyenne, WY 82002
Phone: (307) 777-7691
Website: www.wyomingworkforce.org


EDUCATION BENEFIT – CHILDREN

Surviving dependents receive free tuition from the University of Wyoming for up to eight semesters and free tuition from Wyoming community colleges for up to six semesters. If dependent attends a community college and transfers to the University of Wyoming, the dependant will receive free tuition for a total of ten semesters.

Benefit is available to surviving dependents of volunteer and career firefighters who died while acting within the scope of their duties. Surviving dependent must have been under 18 years old at the time of the firefighter’s death to qualify for the benefit.

Contact:

University of Wyoming
Office of Financial Aid

1000 E. University Avenue, Dept. 3335
Knight Hall, Room 174
Laramie, WY
Phone: (307) 766-2116
Fax: (307) 766-3800
Website: www.uwyo.edu
E-mail: finaid@uwyo.edu


EDUCATION BENEFIT – SPOUSE

None.


NON-PROFIT OR PRIVATE ORGANIZATIONS

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.


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.