COVID-19 Death Benefits for First Responders Advances

Families of first responders who died due to COVID-19 related complications may soon be eligible for death benefits.

House Bill 56 was approved by the House State Government Committee on Thursday and will now head to the House floor for consideration.

Under the proposed bill, a COVID-19 related death would be considered dying in the line of duty for first responders.
The measure would amend current statute on death benefits to include COVID-19 on the list of illnesses that qualify a deceased first responder’s family for death benefits. If the bill becomes law, those families would receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of $80,000.

Statute already defines first responders as police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, correctional officers and active duty Kentucky National Guard members.

The bill is retroactive, meaning any first responders who have died due to COVID-19 complications since March 6, 2020, would qualify.