House Passes Federal Death and Disability Benefits Bill for First Responders Afflicted by COVID-19


Presumption bill moves to the President







WASHINGTON – The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation on Monday sponsored by Rep. Dave Joyce to ensure that families of firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians who die from or are disabled by the coronavirus get Public Safety Officers Benefit program payments. said the bill, co-sponsored by Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and Rep. Marcia Fudge, passed in a non-controversial voice vote.

It passed the U.S. Senate on May 14 and will become law after being signed by the President.

The “Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act” creates a presumption that if a first responder is diagnosed with the coronavirus within 45 days of their last day on the job, the Department of Justice will treat it as a line of duty incident and provide the payments.

Read: H.R. 7031: Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act of 2020

The Public Safety Officer’s Benefit Program

Exposure is currently the largest cause of fatal injuries in on-duty deaths for 2020.  All 13 are reportedly due to exposure to the COVID-19 virus.

(USFA, as of 24 July 2020)


BillCareyBioPicBill Carey is the Online News Manager with Clarion Fire & Rescue Group, specifically and FireRescue Magazine. Bill served as a firefighter, sergeant, and lieutenant at Hyattsville in Prince George’s County, Maryland. His writing has been in FirefighterNation, FireRescue Magazine, Fire Engineering, and other publications and websites. His work on firefighter behavioral health was nominated for a 2014 Neal Award for Best Subject-Related Series. He has been a presenter at Andy Fredericks Training Days.

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