Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program

To provide death benefits to the eligible survivors of federal, state, or local public safety officers whose deaths are the direct and proximate result of a personal (traumatic) injury sustained in the line of duty. Effective November 29, 1990, the Act also provides the same benefit to a public safety officer who has been permanently and totally disabled as the direct result of a catastrophic personal injury sustained in the line of duty. The injury must permanently prevent the officer from performing any gainful work.

Last Known Status
Active
Program Number
16.571
Federal Agency
Agency: Department of Justice
Office: Bureau of Justice Assistance
Types of Assistance
DIRECT PAYMENTS WITH UNRESTRICTED USE
Uses and Use Restrictions
To provide a one-time financial death benefit to the eligible survivors of federal, state, or local public safety officers, and disability benefit to the federal, state, or local public safety officer whose permanent and total disability is the direct and proximate result of a catastrophic personal injury sustained in the line of duty. There are no restrictions to how the monies are spent once they reach the recipient with the exception that monies paid on behalf of minor children must be used for their care and benefit.
Authorization
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act of 1976.
Eligibility Requirements
Applicant Eligibility
Public safety officer means--

(A) an individual serving a public agency in an official capacity, with or without compensation, as a law enforcement officer, as a firefighter, or as a chaplain;

(B) an employee of the Federal Emergency Management Agency who is performing official duties of the Agency in an area, if those official duties—
(i) are related to a major disaster or emergency that has been, or is later, declared to exist with respect to the area under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; and
(ii) are determined by the Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency to be hazardous duties;

(C) an employee of a State, local, or tribal emergency management or civil defense agency who is performing official duties in cooperation with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in an area, if those official duties—
(i) are related to a major disaster or emergency that has been, or is later, declared to exist with respect to the area under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act; and
(ii) are determined by the head of the agency to be hazardous duties; or

(D) a member of a rescue squad or ambulance crew who, as authorized or licensed by law and by the applicable agency or entity, is engaging in rescue activity or in the provision of emergency medical services.

Disabled public safety officers and eligible survivors of deceased public safety officers in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Pacific Trust Territories and the Northern Mariana Islands are also eligible for benefits under the Act. Death benefit coverage for (1) state and local law enforcement officers and firefighters applies to deaths occurring on or after September 29, 1976; (2) federal law enforcement officers and firefighters applies to deaths occurring on or after October 12, 1984; (3) federal, state, and local rescue squad and ambulance crew members applies to death occurring on or after October 15, 1986; and (4) Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) personnel and state, local, and tribal emergency management and civil defense agency employees applies to deaths occurring on or after October 30, 2000. Disability benefit coverage for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and members of public rescue squads and ambulance crews applies to injuries sustained on or after November 29, 1990. FEMA personnel and state, local, and tribal emergency management and civil defense agency employees are covered for such injuries sustained on or after October 30, 2000. Disability benefit coverage for federal, state, and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and members of public rescue squads and ambulance crews applies to injuries sustained on or after November 29, 1990. FEMA personnel and state, local, and tribal emergency management and civil defense agency employees are covered for such injuries sustained on or after October 30, 2000 and Chaplains as of September 11, 2001.
Beneficiary Eligibility
The Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Act, enacted in 1976, was designed to offer peace of mind to men and women seeking careers in public safety and to make a strong statement about the value American society places on the contributions of those who serve their communities in potentially dangerous circumstances. The PSOB Program provides a one-time financial benefit to the eligible survivors of public safety officers whose deaths are the direct and proximate result of a traumatic injury sustained in the line of duty. As of October 1, 2011, the death benefit amount is $.$328,613.
Credentials/Documentation
Claim forms entitled "Claim for Death Benefits" and "Report of Public Safety Officer's Death" or "Report of Public Safety Officers' Permanent and Total Disability," and supporting family, medical and investigative documentation. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.
Application and Award Process
Preapplication Coordination
Employing agencies and/or claimants should initiate a claim via the online system at www.psob.gov, or by emailing, telephoning, or writing to the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program, Bureau of Justice Assistance, 810 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20531. Telephone: (1-888) 744-6513. Upon receiving such notification, program staff will provide claim forms and advise the employing agency and claimant of claim documentation requirements. Environmental impact information is not required for this program. This program is excluded from coverage under E.O. 12372.
Application Procedure
This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-102. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110. Submit "Claim for Death Benefits" and "Report of Public Safety Officer's Death" or "Report of Public Safety Officers' Permanent and Total Disability," and supporting documentation to the Public Safety Officers' Benefits Office, Bureau of Justice Assistance, 810 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20531.
Award Procedure
Upon a finding of eligibility by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, eligible claimants are awarded a lump sum benefit. For Death Benefit: If the officer is survived by spouse, but there are no eligible children, the spouse will receive 100% of the benefit. If the officer is survived by spouse and eligible children, the spouse will receive 50% of the benefit and the children will receive equal shares of the remaining 50%. If the officer is survived by eligible children but no spouse, the children will receive equal shares of the benefit. If the officer is survived by neither a spouse nor eligible children and did not have a PSOB designee or life insurance policy on file with his or her employing agency, then the benefit will be made payable to the surviving parents in equal shares. If there are no surviving parents, then children who would be eligible but for age will receive the benefit in equal shares.
Deadlines
Oct 01, 2009 A claim may be filed up to 3 years following the date of a public safety officer's death or catastrophic personal injury; or, 1 year after a final determination of entitlement to receive, or denial of, benefits allowed by his/her jurisdiction for such a death or catastrophic personal injury.
Range of Approval/Disapproval Time
Dependent on circumstances of death, sufficiency of claim documentation, and/or the need for expert medical reviews. This varies from case to case.
Appeals
Not Applicable.
Renewals
Not Applicable.
Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements.
This program does not have MOE requirements.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not Applicable. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.
Post Assistance Requirements
Reports
No reports are required.
Audits
No audits are required for this program.
Records
None.
Program Accomplishments
Not Applicable.
Financial Information
Account Identification
15-0403-0-1-754.
Obligations
(Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 12 Not Available; FY 13 est $77,911,000; and FY 14 est $81,300,000
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
None.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 32.
Information Contacts
Regional or Local Office
None.
Headquarters Office
Hope Janke Office of Justice Programs
Bureau of Justice Assistance
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Office
810 7th Street, NW, Washington, District of Columbia 20531 Email: AskPSOB@usdoj.gov Phone: 1-888-744-6513
Website Address
http://www.psob.gov
Examples of Funded Projects
Not Applicable.
Criteria for Selecting Proposals
Not Applicable.
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