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Public Safety Officers Continued Healthcare Benefits
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 their employer, the disabled officer or firefighter must receive a duty disability from their retirement association. Per Minnesota Statute §299A.465, subd. 1 (d), the employer is responsible for the continued payment of the employer's contribution for coverage of the disabled officer or firefighter, and if applicable, the disabled officer's or firefighter's dependents. Coverage must continue for the disabled officer or firefighter and, if applicable, the disabled officer's or firefighter's dependents until the disabled 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.
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 the costs associated with continued health insurance coverage as required by law. 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.
Completing the Employer Claim Form
The Annual Employer Reimbursement Claim Form is available here
. Additional documentation to substantiate the dollar amount and number of months that the employer covered the disabled officer’s or firefighter’s healthcare must be included. When calculating the number of eligible months in the relevant fiscal year, the Department of Public Safety (DPS) uses the effective duty-disability date provided by the Public Employee’s Retirement Association (PERA). No reimbursement request will be considered for periods prior to the effective duty-disability date.
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).
Educational benefits through the Minnesota Office of Higher Education are available for 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 following certification by the commissioner of public safety for the one-time monetary death benefit (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 provided 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 spouse of the officer or firefighter.
(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
Contact Mike Hutchings at (651) 201-7164 with questions.