There has been a major change in the federal Public Safety Officer's Benefit for officers who have died in the line of duty. Before this change, the benefit was payable to spouses, children or the parents of these officers. However, with the new law, if there is no current spouse and no living children, of any age, this benefit now is payable to the beneficiary listed on the officers most recent executable life insurance policy. Before this law was enacted, the benefit would have gone to the officer’s parents. Now it will go to the listed beneficiary. If there is no life insurance policy, then the benefit will go to the officer’s parents as before. The effective date for this law is 9-11-02. The PSOB is automatically rechecking their records. If you feel that you may be affected by this law, call them at (888) 744-6513 or write to: Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program, Bureau of Justice Assistance, 810 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20531, Fax: (202) 307-3373.

Federal Workers' Compensation
Under certain conditions, benefits may be provided to a non-federal law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty as determined by the U.S. Department of Labor. Essentially, these benefits are provided if a state or local law enforcement officer is killed while engaged in the apprehension or attempted apprehension of a person who has committed a crime against the United States or who is being sought by a law enforcement authority of the United States. Further, the program encompasses those engaged in protecting or guarding a person held for the commission of a crime against the United States or as a material witness.

The benefit provides cash to supplement benefits from other sources and to continue when they are exhausted.

To apply for this benefit contact: Office of Workers Compensation Programs, Special Claims Office, P.O. Box 37117, Washington, DC. The phone is (202) 565-9424.

The application requirements are:
1. Completion of Federal Form CA-721a
2. Certified copy of death certificate
3. Certified copy of marriage certificate, birth certificates and divorce decree (if applicable)

Click here for a Survivor's Guide to Benefits (300kb PDF)