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Survivors of police officers and first responders who die from contracting COVID-19 on the job will be entitled to death benefits under legislation signed into law Friday by President Donald Trump.
S.B. 3607, sponsored by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa and Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., creates a general presumption that a public safety officer who dies or becomes permanently disables from COVID-19 or related complications sustained a personal injury in the line of duty.
The bill unanimously passed the Senate in May and passed the House of Representatives in July.
The bill, entitled Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act, extends benefits under the federal Public Safety Officers Benefits Program to these disabled first responders or their survivors. The benefits program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, provides death benefits to survivors of police officers and first responders who die in the line of duty as a result of a work-related event.
“We have lost far too many first responders to COVID-19, and their families will now without question receive the federal benefits they deserve in their time of unimaginable loss,” Mr. Booker said. “Our first responders never hesitate to answer the call, and we must always answer theirs.”
More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.
New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority on Wednesday announced an agreement with union leaders to give surviving family members of transit workers who die of COVID-19 complications $500,000.