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This entry was published on 2020-01-10
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Accidental death benefits
Retirement & Social Security (RSS) CHAPTER 51-A, ARTICLE 15
§ 607. Accidental death benefits. a. The eligible beneficiary of a
member in service, or of a vested member who dies as a result of a
qualifying World Trade Center condition as defined in section two of
this chapter, shall be entitled to an accidental death benefit in the
form of a pension equal to fifty percent of such member's wages earned
during his or her last year of actual service or his or her annual wage
rate if he or she was credited with less than one year of service since
last becoming a member, if, upon application filed within five years
after the death of the member, the head of the retirement system
determines that such member died before the effective date of
retirement, as the natural and proximate result of an accident not
caused by his or her own willful negligence sustained in the performance
of his or her duties in active service and while actually a member of
the retirement system.

Notwithstanding the provisions of section two hundred forty-two, two
hundred forty-three or two hundred forty-four of the military law or the
provisions of any other law to the contrary and solely for the purpose
of determining eligibility for an accidental death benefit, a member
shall be considered to have died as the natural and proximate result of
an accident sustained in the performance of duty provided such member
was on the payroll in the service upon which membership is based at the
time he or she was ordered to active duty pursuant to Title 10 of the
United States Code, with the armed forces of the United States or to
service in the uniformed services pursuant to Chapter 43 of Title 38 of
the United States Code and died while on such active duty or service in
the uniformed services on or after June fourteenth, two thousand five.

Provided, however, the head of the retirement system in its sole
discretion may accept an application for an accidental death benefit
after the expiration of the applicable filing period, where, but only
where, an ordinary death benefit has not been previously paid.

b. If an eligible beneficiary receiving the accidental death benefit
hereunder becomes ineligible to continue to receive such benefit, the
benefit shall be continued for all other members of the eligible class
of beneficiaries and, if none, to each successive class, if any, during
their eligibility therefor.

c. If the aggregate benefits under the provisions of this section have
not exceeded the amount of the ordinary lump sum death benefit because
of the absence of eligible beneficiaries or because those beneficiaries
formerly eligible are no longer eligible for payments pursuant to
section six hundred one of this article, then the difference between the
amounts, if any, paid under this section and the amount of the ordinary
lump sum death benefit shall be paid to:

1. The last eligible beneficiary or beneficiaries, if surviving, who
were receiving pension payments hereunder or, if none

2. The distributees of the member, if there were no eligible
beneficiaries at the member's death, or the persons who would be
distributees of the member had he or she died intestate on the date that
the last eligible beneficiary died or became ineligible.