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Glossary of Terms

Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program
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Adopted Child

An individual is an adopted child if he or she was legally adopted by, or in a parent-child relationship with, the Public Safety Officer as of the date of the fatal or catastrophic injury.

Adult Child

Any child of a Public Safety Officer who, at the time of the Officer's fatal or catastrophic injury, was over 18 years of age and not a full-time student, or, was a full-time student but over 22 years of age.

Agency Head

The Chief Executive Officer of the employing agency, i.e. the Superintendent, Fire Chief, Police Commissioner. Generally will not serve as the Agency Point of Contact.

Agency Point of Contact

The agency representative who provides information about the Public Safety Officer’s fatal or catastrophic injury to complete the application.

Applicant

The individual applying for benefits.

Application Preview

This is last opportunity to edit your application before submitting.

Assistance received from other sources (Education Benefits)

When adding documentation for additional educational assistance, you do not need to submit any paperwork for work-study programs or loans that have to be paid back (unless those loans are in default).

Authorized Representative

The individual who is filing a PSOB Benefits Application on behalf of an Applicant.

Beneficiary Hierarchy

Survivors and other individuals eligible to receive a one-time death benefit.

Benefits Application

The first stage of filing for benefits with the PSOB Office.

Benefits Claim

An "Application" becomes a “Claim" when the PSOB Office determines that the minimum required documents have been submitted.

Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S.)

Provides peer support and counseling services, as well as assistance when filing your benefits application or claim. For more information, visit the C.O.P.S website.

Consent to Release

Form needed to release an Applicant's PSOB information to national stakeholder groups and other individuals outside the agency that provide application and claims assistance.

D.C. Retirement and Disability Act of September 1, 1916

Generally, covers certain members of the DC Metropolitan Police or Fire Department who sustained a fatal or catastrophic injury in the line of duty.

Date of Injury (Death Application)

The date of injury that resulted in the Officer’s death.

Date of Injury (Disability Application)

The date of injury that resulted in the Officer’s permanent and total disability.

Date Requested

The date that the document was requested by the PSOB Office.

Date Uploaded

The date and time that a user uploaded a document into the online application.

Death Benefits

Benefits provided to eligible survivors of Public Safety Officers whose deaths are the direct and proximate result of an injury sustained in the line of duty.

Determination

The approval or denial of a claim.

Document Type

Documents that are required based on your responses to the online application questions.

Employing Agency

The agency the Public Safety Officer was serving at the time of the fatal or catastrophic injury.

Federal Employees’ Compensation Act

Section 8191 provides payments to local and State law enforcement officers (not Federal employees) who are performing certain actions on behalf of the United States such as assisting federal officials in the apprehension of persons committing federal crimes.

Filing Timeframe Notice

Appeal requests must be received by the PSOB Office within 33 days of the date on the notification letter.  If filing beyond 33 days, visit to learn more.

Final Review Form

This is the last opportunity to review your application before submitting.

Functional Capacity Evaluation

An evaluation that measures an individual’s physical capability.

Grossly Negligent

Generally, this occurs when an Officer’s performance of duty is an extraordinary departure from the appropriate degree of care that would be expected of a similarly situated Officer and occurs in the face of significant hazards or where serious injury or damage is likely to follow.

Intentional Misconduct

Generally, this occurs when an Officer knowingly commits a violation of a law, rule, policy, or usual agency practice and such violation is done without reasonable excuse and is objectively unjustified.

Life Insurance Beneficiary on File with the Agency

The individual who, at the time of the Officer’s death, was named in the Officer's life insurance policy, according to the designation on file with the agency at the time of the Officer’s death.

Minimum Required Documents

The documents an Applicant must provide for their application to be accepted as a claim. 

Minor child

The child of a Public Safety Officer who at the time of the Officer’s fatal or catastrophic injury was 18 years of age or under, or was a full-time student 22 years or under.

Missing Document Justification

This field allows you to explain why you cannot provide a specific document.

National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF)

Provides peer support and counseling services, as well as assistance when filing your benefits application or claim. For more information, visit the NFFF website.

On-duty

On-duty refers to an Officer who is working a regularly scheduled or overtime shift, or performing a public safety activity at the time of the fatal or catastrophic injury.

Parent-child relationship

A relationship between a Public Safety Officer and a child, in which the Officer has the role of parent.

PSOB Designee on File with the Agency

The individual who, at the time of the Officer’s death, was to receive PSOB benefits according to the designation on file with the agency at the time of the Officer’s death.

Public Safety Agency

Generally, a local, State, Federal, tribal government department or agency, volunteer fire department, nonprofit rescue squad, or ambulance crew.

September 11th Victim Compensation Fund

Provides benefits for first responders who died or who were disabled as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

State Line of Duty Death Benefit

Provides State-funded disability and death benefits for State and local Public Safety Officers – or their beneficiaries – who suffered a fatal or catastrophic injury in the line of duty.  

Supporting documentation

Every PSOB case is unique, meaning additional evidence may be needed beyond the minimum required documents. While these documents vary for each application/claim, they are still mandatory.

Workers’ Compensation

Generally, local, State or Federal benefits paid to individuals who are killed or disabled in the course of employment.

2022 Benefits

The amount of the PSOB benefit is $389,825.00 for eligible deaths and disabilities occurring on or after October 1, 2021. The amount of the PSOB educational assistance benefit for one month of full-time attendance on or after October 1, 2021 is $1,298.00.