Senate Passes Death Benefit Bill For Volunteer Firefighter and Ambulance Workers

The NYS Senate passed a bill (S.3057) co-sponsored by Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. that ensures payment of volunteer firefighter and volunteer ambulance worker death benefits within 90 days from receipt of the death benefit application.

“Too often death benefit delays cause significant hardship for individuals and families,” said Addabbo. “We must ensure that those grieving the loss of their loved one are able to pay their bills and keep food on the table.”

In some instances, beneficiaries have had to wait months, even years, before receiving death benefits. This bill also requires the workers’ compensation board to conduct outreach and support services to persons entitled to the death benefit. Surviving spouses and beneficiaries will receive much-needed claims process assistance and benefits will now be made payable within 90 days from the filed application.

 “I am so grateful for the five volunteer firefighter sites and the four volunteer ambulance groups in my district,” Addabbo said. “These dedicated volunteers take care of so many in our community every day. It’s only proper that we take this simple step to provide for their loved ones in the event that the unexpected occurs.”

The bill was delivered to the Assembly and referred to the Local Governments Committee.