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The Texas Department of Insurance, Division of Workers' Compensation announced Monday that it has adopted an amendment to its code relating to duration of death benefits for an eligible spouse of a first responder killed in the line of duty.
The change aligns the system with new state law, enacted in 2017, that allow such eligible spouses of first responders to remain eligible for death benefits for life after remarrying, if the first responder died as a result of an injury in the course and scope of employment or while providing services as a volunteer, regardless of the date of death. The change applies only to eligible spouses who remarried on or after Sept. 1, 2017.
The change also applies to eligible spouses who remarried from Sept. 1, 2015, to Aug. 31, 2017, if the claim is based on a compensable injury that occurred on or after Sept. 1, 2015, according to the announcement.
The amendment does not alter the distribution of death benefits under certain subsections: If there is an eligible child or grandchild and an eligible spouse, death benefits continue to be divided among the beneficiaries, with half paid to the eligible spouse and half paid in equal shares to the eligible children, according to the announcement.
Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed into law a bill that will allow workers compensation for first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder if certain conditions are met.