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Maryland Survivor Benefits Program

The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services provides for a one-time payment of death benefits to the surviving spouse, child, dependent parent, or estate of an individual who, after January 1, 2006, died as a result of performing assigned duties for a qualified Maryland Public Safety Organization.  Benefits are also available to the qualified surviving family member(s) of Maryland residents who died in service in the US Armed Forces in Afghanistan on or after October 24, 2001, or in Iraq on or after March 19, 2003.

Line of Duty Death Benefit

In accordance with C.O.M.A.R 12.11.06.02-.03, eligible beneficiaries include the estate or qualified family members of a Maryland Law Enforcement Officer, Correctional Officer, Volunteer or Career Firefighter or Rescue Squad Member, State Fire Marshal or Deputy State Fire Marshal, Public Safety Aviation employee, Hazardous Material Response Team member, and certain members of the Armed Forces who die due to the performance of duties.  When a death benefit is authorized, payment shall be made first to the surviving spouse; if there is no surviving spouse, full payment divided equally among surviving children; if there is no surviving child, full payment to a surviving dependent parent; if there is no surviving dependent parent, full payment to the estate of the decedent.

Funeral Expenses

The State of Maryland provides up to $10,000 to cover funeral expenses for qualified beneficiaries.  When a funeral benefit is authorized, payment shall be made first to the surviving spouse; if there is no surviving spouse, full payment divided equally among surviving children; if there is no surviving child, full payment to a surviving dependent parent; if there is no surviving dependent parent, full payment to the estate of the decedent. Currently, funeral expenses are not authorized for military service members.

Flag Benefit

The Secretary of State shall issue a State flag to the family of a firefighter, police officer, member of the military, sworn member of the office of State Fire Marshal, or professional or volunteer emergency medical services provider who is killed in the performance of duty.  Except when the deceased is a member of the military, the flag shall be presented to the family of the deceased by the State Senator of the legislative district in which the deceased resided or served.  When the deceased is a member of the military, the flag shall be presented to the family of the deceased by the Department of Veterans Affairs.

How to File a Claim

Claimants may contact the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, Office of the Secretary at 410-339-3783, or send an email to survivor.benefits@maryland.gov, for information on how to begin a claim.  The following information will be required in order for a claim to be paid:

For Funeral Expenses

  • Summary of Final Expenses
  • Dated bills for all listed expenses

For Death Benefits

  • Copy of Death Certificate
  • Copy of Autopsy Report (if available)
  • Investigative Report of Incident Related to Death
  • Statement from a qualified Maryland Public Safety Organization
  • If the deceased is not killed in the line or performance of assigned duties, but dies from injuries sustained while in performing said duties, a statement from the representative Maryland Public Safety Organization is required, indicating, that death was related to injuries sustained in the performance of assigned duties.
  • Name, Address and Social Security Number of all eligible beneficiaries
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate (if beneficiary is the surviving spouse)
  • Copy of Birth Certificate(s) or Court Custody Order (if the beneficiary is a child)
  • Documentation to verify dependency (if the beneficiary is a surviving dependent parent)
  • Verification that an estate has been opened and the name of the person who has authority to represent the estate
  • Valid US picture identification

 

For Military Service Members Currently the State of Maryland does not offer a funeral benefit to Line of Duty Death of qualified military service members

  • Copy of Death Certificate (DD2064)
  • Report of Casualty (DD1300) that provides evidence that the service member was killed in action while serving in Afghanistan or its contiguous air space or in Iraq or its contiguous waters or air space
  • If the service member is not killed in action, but dies from injuries sustained while in combat, a statement from the Department of Defense that death was related to injuries sustained in qualified combat.
  • Name, Address and Social Security Number of all eligible beneficiaries
  • Copy of Marriage Certificate (if beneficiary is the surviving spouse)
  • Copy of Birth Certificate(s) or Court Custody Order (if the beneficiary is a child)
  • Documentation to verify dependency (if the beneficiary is a surviving dependent parent)
  • Verification that an estate has been opened, and who has authority to represent the estate
  • Valid US picture identification

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