Program Description

The Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program (PSOB) offers death and education benefits to survivors of fallen public safety officers. It also offers disability benefits to officers permanently injured in the line of duty. This includes the officers below:

  • Law enforcement officers
  • Firefighters
  • Other first responders

The program is an effort of the U.S. Department of Justice, along with:

  • Local, state, and federal public safety agencies
  • National organizations

We assign benefit amounts annually and they may vary year to year. This may include a one-time payment for death or disability in the line of duty.

  • Death that was a direct result of injury on or after September 29, 1976. (Certain fatal heart attacks and strokes are also covered.)
  • Disability that was the result of a catastrophic injury on or after November 29, 1990. You must be permanently unable to work.

See the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Fact Sheet (PDF, 245 KB) for details.

Your survivors may also qualify for a monthly educational allowance. This provides support for higher education if you die or are permanently disabled. We base the amount of this benefit on the student’s status, whether full- or part-time.

See the Education Assistance Program (PDF, 359 KB) fact sheet for details.

General Program Requirements

Survivors may include any of the following:

  • Spouses
  • Children
  • Designated PSOB beneficiaries
  • Surviving parents

Children may qualify if, at the time death or disability, they are:

  • A natural, out-of-wedlock, adopted child or stepchild, age 18 or younger.
  • A child between 19 and 22 and a full-time student.
  • A disabled child over 18 who is unable to support themselves.

Application Process

Find benefit amounts and how to file claims on the BJA Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Programs Home page.

Last Updated: 01/07/2020