This overview of the U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Assistance's (BJA's) Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program (PSOB) summarizes the benefits it provides, who is eligible for benefits, the claims process, the appeals process, the assistance available for filing claims, PSOB performance, and how to contact the PSOB.
The PSOB Program provides death and disability financial benefits to workers and their families in the fields of law enforcement, firefighting, and other first-responder fields when death or catastrophic injury occurs in the line of duty. Regarding death benefits, the PSOB provides a one-time benefit to eligible survivors of public-safety officers whose deaths were the direct result of an injury sustained in the line of duty on or after September 20, 1976. A one-time benefit is available to public safety officers who were permanently and totally disabled as a result of a catastrophic injury sustained in the line of duty on or after November 29, 1990. Financial support for higher education is available for eligible spouse and children of public safety officers who died or were catastrophically disabled in the line of duty. The PSOB Office recently launched a web-based claims portal for efficient applications submission for benefits and the claims review process. There is an appeals process for claimants who are denied benefits. The distinctive features of the application for each type of benefit are briefly described, along with the procedure for receiving assistance in the claims process. Since 1976, PSOB has provided nearly $2 billion in assistance to first responders and their families.