First Responders and Workers’ Comp Death Benefits
Texas first responders frequently put their lives on the line in service to their communities. Tragically, police officers, firefighters, and paramedics sometimes die in the line of duty as a result.
Workers’ compensation death benefits help families replace some of their lost income when an employee dies due to a work-related illness or injury.
Death Benefit Eligibility
When a first responder dies due to a work-related illness or injury, his survivors may be entitled to receive death benefits. Eligibility for these benefits begins the day after the first responder’s death, and payments will be made until the beneficiary no longer qualifies for benefits. These death benefits may be owed to:
- Spouses. Prior to the passage of TX HB2119, a surviving spouse could only collect death benefits until remarriage. However, since September 1, 2017, the spouse of a deceased first responder is entitled to receive lifetime benefits regardless of marital status.
- Minor children. The child of a deceased first responder can receive death benefits until age 18, or until she or he turns 25 if enrolled as a full-time student at an accredited college or university. A child suffering from a physical or mental disability who's a dependent on the date of the first responder’s death will receive benefits for the remainder of his life, or until he no longer has the disability.
- Grandchildren. Grandkids who were at least 20 percent dependent on the first responder at the time of his death are also entitled to receive death benefits until they turn 18. A grandchild who's eligible for death benefits, but who isn’t a minor when the first responder dies, may receive no more than 364 weeks of benefits.
Receiving Death Benefits
If you’ve lost a loved one who died in the line of duty as a first responder, you may be entitled to receive workers’ compensation death benefits. You need representation by an experienced attorney who can help you receive rightful compensation. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.