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 is a unique effort of the U.S. Department of Justice, local, state, federal, and tribal public safety agencies, and national organizations in providing death benefits to the survivors of law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders who sustained death or catastrophic injury in the line of duty. 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 29, 1976. PSOB provides a one-time benefit to eligible 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. Injuries must permanently prevent officers from performing any gainful work in the future. In addition, PSOB provides support for higher education to eligible spouses and children of public safety officers who died in the line of duty or were catastrophically disabled in the line of duty. The claims process is web-based, with procedures differing according to the type of benefit for which application is made. Application for benefits is made to the U.S. Justice Department’s Bureau of Justice Assistance.