Administered by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program provides death benefits to the eligible survivors of public safety officers who are fatally injured in the line of duty, disability benefits to public safety officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty, and education benefits to the eligible spouses and children of fallen and catastrophically injured officers. BJA’s PSOB Office is honored to review the more than 1,000 claims submitted each year on behalf of America’s fallen and injured public safety heroes and their loved ones.
The amount of the PSOB benefit is $365,670.00 for deaths and disabilities occurring on or after October 1, 2019. The amount of the PSOB educational assistance benefit per month of full-time attendance on or after October 1, 2019 is $1,248.00.
With the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, America’s law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders face a new health risk as they continue to selflessly serve their communities.
Under the current PSOB Act and its implementing regulations, conditions caused by infectious diseases, viruses, and bacteria may be found to be an injury sustained in the line of duty.
To establish eligibility for a public safety officer’s death or disability due to COVID-19, the PSOB Act and regulations require that the evidence show that it is more likely than not that the virus resulted from the public safety officer’s exposure while performing a line of duty activity or action. While some states have laws that presume a public safety officer’s infectious disease resulted from their employment, eliminating the need for evidence of when the transmission of a disease or infection occurred, the PSOB Program has no such presumption. (The PSOB Program does cover certain conditions resulting from September 11th exposure, as coverage is based on the laws and regulations establishing the World Trade Center Health Program and its scientific and medical analysis.)
As the PSOB Office receives claims based on COVID-19 exposure, it will work closely with survivors, officers, and agencies to seek evidence of the exposure and causation through all available evidence, including incident reports and related documents.
For questions regarding the PSOB Program or filing a claim, please do not hesitate to visit PSOB’s online portal at www.psob.gov, or email the PSOB Director at firstname.lastname@example.org.