NYS Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. recently voted with his Senate colleagues to approve legislation (S.3057) which would provide more timely death benefits for the surviving beneficiaries of volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers who die in the line of duty.
“When voting in favor of this bill, I thought of the brave and dedicated volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers in my district, who provide extraordinary services to our communities in our times of greatest need,” said Addabbo, a co-sponsor of the legislation. “When these brave men and women give their lives in volunteer service to others, we have an obligation to honor their memories by aiding their loved ones at a time of grievous loss. This bill would help to ensure that surviving beneficiaries of these first responders do not have to wait for extended periods of time to receive the death benefits their loved ones wanted to provide for them.”
Specifically, the measure would require that death benefits provided to the surviving beneficiary of a volunteer firefighter or ambulance worker who died in the line of duty be paid within 90 days of the filing of the benefits application. Setting this timeline will allow for adequate investigations into the facts of the volunteer’s injury or death and help to ensure that claims are processed more expeditiously, according to Addabbo.
“Men and women who volunteer their time, energy and skills to meet the needs of others are a special breed, and this is particularly true of our firefighters and ambulance workers. These are people who, out of the goodness of their own hearts, frequently put their lives on the line in order to save the lives of others,” said Addabbo. “With all that they do for us – and especially when they could instead simply choose to stay safe at home with their own families – the least we can do is ensure their survivors aren’t left in want and need while awaiting their rightful benefits.”
Having passed the State Senate, the bill is now under review by the Assembly Standing Committee on Local Governments.