Madden/Sweeney Bill Would Provide Permanent Workers’ Compensation Benefits For Spouses Of Slain Police And Firefighters

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Fred H. Madden and Steve Sweeney, which would provide workers’ compensation benefits to surviving spouses of police officers and firefighters who have died in the line of duty was approved today by the full Senate.

“When a public safety official gives his or her life in the line of duty, their loved ones are left behind to pick up the pieces,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “In situations like this, the families also become victims, because they are left with the unexpected responsibility of having to make ends meet. The benefits that would be afforded through this bill would allow spouses to move on financially – we owe this to them.”

“The goal of this bill is to allow the spouses of police officers and firefighters who have paid the ultimate price protecting our safety, to continue to receive the benefits to which they are entitled,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “I certainly don’t think it’s too much to ask, and we owe these benefits to these families.”

The Senators’ bill, S-668, would amend current law to allow spouses of police officers and firefighters who choose to remarry to continue to receive the weekly workers’ compensation benefits to which they are entitled. Under current law, spouses who remarry receive a lump sum payment of roughly the amount of what they would receive in benefits over two years.

This measure now heads to the Assembly for approval.

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