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Public Safety Officer Benefit Programs

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Minnesota Statute §299A.465 provides continued health insurance coverage for peace officers and firefighters disabled/killed in the line of duty who meet the eligibility criteria.

Effective July 1, 2008, to be eligible for continued health insurance coverage from his/her employer, the disabled employee must receive a duty disability from their retirement association. Per Minnesota Statute §299A.465 Subd. 1, (3) (d), the employer is responsible for the continued payment of the employer's contribution for coverage of the officer or firefighter, and if applicable, the officer's or firefighter's dependents. Coverage must continue for the officer or firefighter and, if applicable, the officer's or firefighter's dependents until the officer or firefighter reaches, or if deceased, would have reached the age of 65. However, coverage for dependents is not continued after the person is no longer a dependent.

The disabled employee will continue to be financially responsible for their portion of their health insurance. The disabled employee's monetary responsibility may fluctuate based upon the former employer's current benefit structure.

Subd. 2, Officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty, applies when a peace officer or firefighter is killed while on duty and discharging the officer's or firefighter's duties as a peace officer or firefighter. The employer shall continue to cover the deceased officer's or firefighter's dependents, including the officer's or firefighter's spouse. The employer is responsible for the employer's contribution for the coverage of the officer's or firefighter's dependents. Continued health insurance coverage must continue for a dependent of the officer or firefighter for the period of time the person is a dependent up to the age of 65.

 

Annual Employer Reimbursement

Per Minnesota Statute §299A.465, Subd. 4, local units of government (employers) can apply annually by August 1 for the preceding fiscal year to the commissioner of public safety for reimbursement to help defray a portion of its costs in complying with the continued health insurance coverage statute. The commissioner shall provide an equal pro rata share to the employer out of the public safety officer’s benefit account based on the availability of funds for each eligible officer, firefighter and qualifying dependents. The Annual Employer Reimbursement Claim Form is available for downloading. Documentation to substantiate the dollar amount and number of months that the employer paid for the employee must be included.

 

Public Safety Officers Death Benefits

Following completion of the Death Benefit Application and certification by the commissioner of public safety, Minnesota Statute §299A.44 provides a one-time monetary death benefit to dependents or the estate of public safety officers killed in the line of duty on or after January 1, 1973 (see Minnesota Statute §299A.41 to determine eligibility). Following certification by the commissioner of public safety for the one-time monetary death benefit, dependent children less than 23 years of age (age extended to 30 years of age for those who served on active military duty for at least 181 consecutive days and were honorably discharged or released), and the surviving spouse are eligible for educational benefits through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (per Minnesota Statute §299A.45). The Minnesota Office of Higher Education administers the education benefit portion of the Public Safety Officer’s Survivor Benefits.

The Educational Certificate is only issued to qualified dependents who have received certification under Minnesota Statute §299A.44 from the commissioner of public safety following the death of a public safety officer. Dependents must be in compliance with Minnesota Statute §299A.44 and the rules of the commissioner of public safety and the Minnesota Office of Higher Education.

Please note that the Educational Certificate is not given out to dependents of public safety officers while a public safety officer is living.

Please see Minnesota Statute §299A.465, Subd. 2 for continued health insurance coverage which states the employer shall continue to cover the deceased officer’s or firefighter’s dependents, including the officer’s or firefighter’s spouse.

(Please note that The U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, also offers a Federal Public Safety Officer Benefit Program. Find out more about the federal program by calling the USDOJ at 1-888-744-6513 or by visiting their website at www.PSOB.gov.)

 

Related Minnesota Statutes

Minnesota Statute §299A.465

 

Staff

Contact Mike Hutchings at (651) 201-7164 with questions.