DEATH BENEFITS AVAILABLE TO THE SURVIVING FAMILIES OF LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY
To obtain certified copies of registered personal documents, contact the Bureau of Vital Statistics: Submit written request to 6550 Reisterstown Road, Baltimore, MD 21215. Ofﬁce: (410) 764-3038 • dhmd.maryland.gov
STATE DEATH BENEFITS
A death benefit shall be paid to the surviving spouse, children .or dependent parents of any law enforcement officer of the State or any political subdivision of the State, any sheriff or deputy sheriff, any correctional officer, or any volunteer or professional firefighter or rescue squad member who is killed or dies in the performance of duties on or after July 1, 1989. The amount of the benefit shall be $133,383.00.
A death benefit of $100,000 will be paid to the surviving spouse, children, or dependent parents of a State Law Enforcement Officer killed in the line of duty on or after July 1, 2000. This sum shall be in addition to any workmen’s compensation benefits and proceeds of any form of life insurance regardless of who paid the premium on the insurance. Payment shall be made to the surviving spouse; if there is no surviving spouse payment shall be made to the surviving child or children of the decedent in equal shares; if there is no surviving spouse or children, payment shall be made to the surviving parent or parents, if the parent was a dependent as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The Maryland Legislature passed and the governor signed a bill in 1996 to provide reasonable funeral expenses, not to exceed $10,000. The funeral benefit shall be reduced by the amount of any related Workers’ Compensation benefits paid.
For more information contact the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, 300 East Ioppa RD, STE 100, Towson, MD 21286. (410) 339-5000 • dhmd.maryland.gov.
“Child” means any child who is at least 16 years old and under the age of 24 of any State or local public safety employee killed in the line of duty. The child must be the natural or adopted child of the eligible employee, step children are not eligible. NOTE: Students who are the children of a State or local public safety employee who died in the line of duty are exempted from paying non-resident tuition at public institutions of higher education in the State.
“Spouse” means a person who: Is legally married to any State or local public safety employee at the time that the public safety employee is killed in the line of duty; and has not remarried.
“State or local public safety employee” means a career or volunteer member of a fire department; ambulance company or squad; or rescue company or squad; a law enforcement ofﬁcer; and a member of the Maryland National Guard who was a resident of the estate at the time of death; correctional ofﬁcer.
Established – There is a program of scholarships that are awarded under this section. The program is the Edward T. Conroy Memorial and Jean B Cryor Scholarship Program.
Eligibility — A person may apply to the Administration for a scholarship under this
section if the person:
B. Is the surviving spouse or any State of local public safety employee killed in the line of duty. (Refer to definition of surviving spouse above.)
Use; amount – A scholarship awarded under this section:
(2) The amount of the award may not exceed the equivalent annual tuition and mandatory fees of a resident undergraduate student as reported to OSFA on the annual College Cost Survey, not to exceed $10,400 a year. (2014-2015)
Duration – Each recipient of a scholarship under this section may hold the award for 5 years of full-time study (12+ credits per semester) or 8 years of part-time study (6-11 credits per semester).
This scholarship program is also available to dependents of veterans as well as disabled police officers and other State of local public safety employees. Scholarship amounts are determined by the funding available and the number of applications. In recent years, scholarships have ranged from 65% to 91% of total tuition and mandatory fees.
How to apply: NEW AND RENEWAL APPLICANTS TO THE PROGRAM MUST CONTACT THEIR COLLEGE’S FINANCIAL AID OFFICE FOR APPLICATION INSTURCT IONS.
If wholly dependent, two-thirds of the employee’s Average Weekly Wage not to exceed 100% of the State Average Weekly Wage or $940.00.
If partly dependent, two-thirds of the employee’s Average Weekly Wage not to exceed two-thirds of the State Average Weekly Wage or $627.00.
Workers’ Compensation coverage for employers in Maryland is compulsory; however, waivers are allowed.
There is also a maximum burial allowance of $10,000. Burial expenses in excess of maximum are payable if approved by the Workers’ Compensation Commission if there are no dependents. Spouse will receive a two-year lump sum payable upon remarriage, and weekly benefits will cease. Children receive beneﬁts until age 18 or beyond age 18 if physically or mentally disabled, or until age 23 if full-time students. There is a maximum cap of $45,000. Benefits may continue after a maximum of $45,000 has been paid if there remain wholly dependent survivors.
To obtain a claim form, contact the Workers’ Compensation Commission at 10 East Baltimore ST, 4“I Floor, Baltimore, MD 21202. (410) 864-5100 • wcc.state.md.us.
Health benefits vary depending upon police department benefits. Spouses of state and county ofﬁcers may elect to continue to participate in the same benefit program in effect at the time of the officer’s death. Contact the Benefits Coordinator at your agency.
RETIREMENT / PENSION
Individual cities and municipalities are responsible for providing retirement and pension plans for law enforcement officers. Contact your local agency’s Benefits Assistance Officer.
STATE INCOME TAX
Effective July 1, 2001, any death beneﬁt paid from a pension system received by a law enforcement officer’s surviving family is free from State taxes. This affects survivors of State Troopers killed in the line of duty after July 1, 1972.
PROPERTY TAX CREDIT
Effective June 1, 2003, Section 9-210 of the Annotated Code of Maryland is amended to read:
The Mayor and City Council of Baltimore City or the governing body of a county or municipal corporation may grant, by law, a property tax credit under this section against the county or municipal corporation property tax imposed on a dwelling that is owned by a surviving spouse of a fallen law enforcement officer or rescue worker (1) if the dwelling was owned by the fallen law enforcement officer or rescue worker at the time of the fallen law enforcement officers or rescue worker’ 3 death; (2) if the fallen law enforcement ofﬁcer or rescue worker or the surviving spouse was domiciled in the State as of the date of the fallen law enforcement ofﬁcers or rescue worker’ 5 death and the dwelling was acquired by the surviving spouse with 2 years of the fallen law enforcement ofﬁcers or rescue worker’ s death; or (3) if the dwelling was acquired after the surviving spouse qualified for a credit for a former dwelling under item (1) or (2) of this subsection, to the extend of the previous credit.
PEER SUPPORT ORGANIZATION
Established in 1984, Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc., (C.O.P.S.), is a national, non- profit organization that works with law enforcement agencies, police organizations, mental health professional, and local peer-support organizations to provide assistance to surviving families of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. C.O.P.S. has become a “lifeline” to police survivors nationwide. Contact the C.O.P.S. National Office (800) 784-2611 or visit nationalcops.org/chap.htm for information on a chapter in your area.
STATE FLAG (4-1003 Annotated Code of Maryland) The Secretary of State of Maryland shall issue a Maryland State flag to the family of any policeman killed in the line of duty. The ﬂag shall be presented to the family of the deceased policeman by the State Senator of the legislative district in Maryland in which the deceased resided.
HEROES, Inc. was founded in 1964, as a totally nonprofit volunteer organization incorporated in the District of Columbia under Charitable Registration Certificate No. 6-07-398 to serve the surviving families of all officers within the Metropolitan Washington, DC, area (The District of Columbia, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland, and Arlington and Fairfax Counties in Virginia).
Within 24 hours of an officer’s death, a check in the amount of $3,500 is delivered to the family to be used for immediate emergency expenses.
At a later date, usually within two to four weeks, the surviving spouse will meet with the HEROES Executive Committee to identify other personal areas where financial assistance is needed. A comprehensive scholarship program is available to ensure that each child can receive an education of his or her choice.
HEROES never forgets or closes the books on a family. They are always available for counseling or assistance. The telephone number for HEROES, Inc. is (202) 638-6658.
FUNERAL AND CREMATION BENEFITS
Dignity Memorial funeral, cremation and cemetery providers created the Public Servants Program for emergency service personnel. This program provides dignified and honorable tributes, at no cost, for career and volunteer law enforcement officers who fall in the line of duty. Visit their website for complete information at dignitymemorial.com and look under Public Servants for details. You may also call 800-344-6489 and speak with a representative.
Wilbert Funeral Services, Inc. provides complimentary burial vaults and related services for fallen law enforcement officers. For more information visit wilbert.com or call (888) WILBERT.