AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees reports the Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefits Act, S.459, is now awaiting the President's signature to become law. The bill would create a presumption that a cardiac incident that occurred while on duty in a non-routine situation or within a day of responding to an emergency situation was in the line of duty for the purposes of survivors benefit. Fire Chief Magazine reported in their November 26th issue the following information:
"The PSOB program, administered by the Department of Justice, provides a one-time financial benefit — currently set at $267,494 — to families police, fire and EMS personnel killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty. "In cases involving heart attacks or strokes, the burden of proof is currently placed on the family to demonstrate a direct relation between the heart attack or stroke and the actions performed in the line of duty," according to the IAFC. "The Hometown Heroes Survivors Benefit Act shifts that burden to the Department of Justice by adding language presumptively qualifying heart attacks and strokes as line-of-duty deaths."