Line of Duty Death Benefits Explained
By: ABQRAW staff
Posted: 8/8/2022 @12:00PM
The BCSO Honor Guard brings the flag draped coffin out of BCSO Deputy Michael Levison at The Pit in Albuquerque, N.M. on 08/03/2022.
As the funerals for the four public safety workers finished last week, several readers have asked ABQRAW what do the families of the police officers, who die in the line of duty, receive in benefits?
The State of New Mexico currently pays $250,000 to the beneficiary. This will change to $1,000,000 on July 1, 2023 because of legislation signed by Governor Lujan-Grisham during the 2022 session (HB 68). (continued below)
BCSO Metro 2 crew that died in a July 16th, 2022 helicopter crash in Northern New Mexico.
New Mexico workers compensation will pay out 66 2/3% of the deceased officer wage for the spouse (or children). This weekly benefit will be between $36 to $699.01 for a maximum of up to 700 weeks. (continued below)
NMSP Officer Darian Jarrott was brutally executed by Omar Cueva in a traffic stuff on I-10 in southern part of New Mexico.
New Mexico workers compensation provides a maximum burial allowance of $7,500.
New Mexico also provides educational assistance to the spouse and children (under age 21) of peace officers who die in the line of duty. The scholarship is equal to the amount of tuition charged by the institution attended. The scholarship will continue for no more than five years so long as the student is in good standing.
The Bureau of Justice Assistance of the Department of Justice provides a one time benefit of $389,825 (for the year 2022). This benefit is found under the Public Safety Officers Benefits Act (PSOB) Benefits by Year | Bureau of Justice Assistance (ojp.gov)
Former US Marshal and Police Chief Gorden Eden, stated "what most citizens do not know, is that none of the federal and state benefits are paid out immediately. It can take weeks to months, and in some cases years, to fill out application forms and have the benefits reviewed and then approved". This is why non-profits such as the 100 Club of New Mexico (Eden is the current Vice President) are so important. Normally, within 24-48 hours of the death of a public safety worker, the 100 Club will present the widow (or children) with a check to help with their expenses. Once a law enforcement officer dies, their family ceases to receive a paycheck from their agency. Help from the 100 Club of New Mexico can make sure that mortgages, car loans, bills, and groceries are still paid for while the families wait for the compensation from the state and federal government.
Each agency may have their own compensation rules, but this article strictly focuses on the State of New Mexico and the federal government.
If you would like to donate to the 100 Club of New Mexico, please go here: https://www.100clubnm.org/donation.html
If you would like to donate to the survivors of the Metro 2 helicopter crash, please donate to the GoFundMe account that was started by the Bernalillo County Deputy Sheriff's Association: https://www.gofundme.com/f/metro-2-family-relief-fund