DOJ Announces Coronavirus Will Be Considered Line of Duty Death for Police

by AmericasKeepersAdmin on April 13, 2020

Last week the Department of Justice announced that officers who die from Coronavirus will be considered a line of duty death as long as there’s evidence showing that they more than likely caught the virus while on the job.

The Bureau of Justice who oversees the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program announced that officers who die as a result of the coronavirus will be considered a line of duty death.

The benefits program provides benefits to eligible survivors of a loved one who died in the line of duty and also provides disability benefits to officers who are catastrophically injured on the job.

“With the recent outbreak of the novel coronavirus disease, or COVID-19, America’s law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders face a new health risk as they continue to selflessly serve their communities,” t
“Under the current Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Act and its implementing regulations, conditions caused by infectious diseases, viruses, and bacteria may be found to be an injury sustained in the line of duty,”

– Bureau of Justice Assistance

However in order for benefits to be paid out for deaths related to the coronavirus there needs to be proof that the officer more than likely caught the virus while working. There also needs to be proof that they died from the coronavirus and not an other health condition.

“In general, BJA will find that the evidence shows a public safety officer with COVID-19 contracted it in the line of duty, when (1) the officer had engaged in line of duty action or activity under circumstances that indicate that it was medically possible that the officer was exposed to the virus, SARS-CoV-2, while so engaged; and (2) the officer did contract the disease, COVID-19, within a time-frame where it was medically possible to contract the disease from that exposure,”
– Bureau of Justice Assistance

Patrick Yoes the President for The National Fraternal Order of Police praised the Trump Administration for the decision.

“This was a vitally important issue for the men and women on the front lines during this pandemic crisis. I hope this assurance will bring some comfort and peace of mind to our officers that their families will be taken care of should they contract this horrible virus in the line of duty.”
– Patrick Yoes

While the decision doesn’t reduce the risks that public safety officers face on a daily basis, hopefully it can provide some reassurance that their loved ones will be taken care of should they need it.

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