The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program was established in 1976 to assist families of police, firefighters and other emergency workers who die in the line of duty. Today, the amount of the PSOB benefit is $339,881 for eligible deaths and disabilities occurring on/after October 1, 2015 and the amount of the PSOB educational assistance benefit for one month of full-time attendance is $1,021. While these may seem like substantial benefits, families sometimes have to wait years to receive payments according to a recent article by USA Today (LINK).
Fortunately, there are insurance products that you can purchase to fill this gap. One such coverage is a Workers’ Compensation policy. In the event of a line of duty death, a Workers’ Compensation policy could pay a burial expense reimbursement benefit as well as a death benefit equal to 75% of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage (up to $895 maximum). The death benefits are paid until the beneficiary no longer meets the entitlement requirements.
Another valuable coverage is a VFIS Accident & Sickness policy. This policy responds quickly to provide important benefits to the families. In the event of a line of duty death, the VFIS A&S policy would pay:
- lump sum death benefit to the beneficiary
- additional 25% seat belt benefit
- additional 25% safety vest benefit
- $30,000 per dependent child
- $15,000 spousal support/education benefit
- $5,000 memorial benefit
- $5,000 per dependent elder benefit
- Up to $2,500 repatriation benefit (over 30 miles)