Applying for State Benefits

 

What is the Virginia Line of Duty Act?

The Line of Duty Act provides state-funded disability and death benefits for state and local public safety officers or their beneficiaries due to disability or death resulting from the performance of duties.  Benefits are available to officers of localities participating in the program.

Who qualifies for the Line of Duty Act?

The Line of Duty Act applies to certain employees who are disabled or killed as a direct or proximate result of performing any action that they were obligated or authorized to perform as a part of their employment.

Some eligible employees include:

  • Law Enforcement officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Superintendent of a regional jail or jail farm
  • Member of any fire company or department or rescue squad
  • Member of the Virginia National Guard or State Defense Force
  • Any Special Agent of the ABC Board

For a full list of eligible employees, please see Virginia Code § 9.1-400(B) of the Line of Duty Act.  

How do I file a claim for death benefits?

A surviving spouse or family member should contact the employing law enforcement agency and ask for an investigation into how the officer died.  Many local law enforcement agencies will ask the Department of State Police to conduct the investigation.  The investigating agency must investigate the circumstances surrounding the officer’s death and verify that the death occurred in the line of duty. 

The surviving spouse or family member should fill out the Line of Duty Death Benefit Claim form and give it to the investigating agency.  

The investigating agency will prepare a report, which will include a description of the claimant’s life statistics, birth, marriages, divorces, names of all children, a brief description of employment history, accident, retirement and date of death.  Supporting documentation should include at a minimum:

  • Birth certificate of deceased
  • Birth certificate of spouse and all children
  • Copy of marriage certificate
  • Copy of all divorce decrees
  • Verification of employment dates
  • Summary of police/incident report
  • College status of all dependants over 21 years
  • Coroner’s report
  • Autopsy report
  • Death certificate
  • Copy of will

If the officer’s family possesses any of the above listed documents, they should be provided to the investigator.  If the Department of State Police conducts the investigation, it will help the obtain the necessary documents. 

What happens to the claim?

The investigating agency has 10 days to submit the investigative summary and claim form to the Virginia Department of Accounts for processing.    If the Department of State Police is investigating the death, the investigator will submit the packet to the Department of Accounts. 


image of an envelope Attn: Line of Duty
         Commonwealth of Virginia
         Department of Accounts
         P.O. Box 1971
         Richmond, Virginia 23218-1971

 

Once the claim is submitted to the Department of Accounts, the Comptroller has 45 days to act on the claim. 

What are the benefits?

The surviving spouse and dependent(s) will receive $100,000 if the death is due to an unnatural cause.  If the death is caused by an illness that has either arisen out of or in the course of the officer’s employment or within 5 years of his retirement, the beneficiaries will receive $25,000. If requested by the officer’s family, funeral expenses can be paid by the state directly to the funeral service provider.

The spouse and dependents will also receive continued health insurance under the same plan of benefits that the disabled Officer was entitled to the last day of his active duty.  For more information, please see Virginia Code § 9.1-401 and § 9.1-402

Who is considered a dependent?

The term “dependent,” which may refer to either natural, adopted, illegitimate or stepchildren, is defined on the claim forms and is meant to include any child of the officer that is under 21, is not married and is not covered by an alternative health plan; a child that is a full-time college student under the age of 25; or a child that is over 21 but is mentally or physically disabled. Any child that is conceived by the spouse, or ex-spouse, of the officer but was not considered a dependent per the wishes of the deceased or disabled officer will not be considered a dependent for the purpose of these benefits.

How long will the beneficiaries receive these benefits?

Health insurance terminates upon the surviving spouse’s death or coverage by alternate health insurance.  Benefits for children will terminate upon death, turning 21, marriage or coverage by alternate health insurance.  Children over 21 and who are mentally or physically disabled may continue to receive benefits.  

Full-time college students may also continue to receive benefits unless:

The dependent is 21 or older, was deemed a full-time student during the application process and has now ceased to be a full-time student.

or

The dependent is a full-time college student and reaches the age of 25.

Virginia Code § Section 9.1-401(D)

Additional questions?

Connie Jones, Line of Duty Coordinator
Department of Accounts
P.O. Box 1971
Richmond, Virginia 23218-1971
(804) 786-1856
(804) 371-0444 (fax)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Department of State Police
7700 Midlothian Turnpike
Richmond, VA 23235
(804) 674-2000
(804) 674-2936 (fax)

Helpful Links

Line of Duty Handout
Virginia Department of Accounts’ website
Virginia Department of Accounts (www.doa.virginia.gov)

 

*These resources are not operated or endorsed by the Office of the Attorney General, and serve only as helpful information for reference purposes. We are not responsible for their content.