Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible for PSOB death benefits?

How do I file a PSOB application?

Where can I find the PSOB Law and Regulations?

How long do I have to file a PSOB Application?

What documents are needed to submit a PSOB Death Benefits application?

What documents are needed to submit a PSOB Disability Benefits application?

How do I submit changes/updates to my existing application?

How will my claim be reviewed, and when will my claim be determined?

How do I file an appeal?

How do I submit a Filing Extension Request?

Who is eligible for PSOB death benefits?         

Families of public safety officers who have sustained a fatal line of duty injury are eligible to receive a one-time death benefit, based upon a hierarchy of payment.  Please refer to the table below for information about the claim beneficiary payment hierarchy.

Claim Beneficiary Payment Hierarchy:

Condition

Death Benefit Disbursement 

If the public safety officer has a surviving spouse and no eligible children                             

100% to surviving spouse

If the public safety officer has a surviving spouse and age-eligible (non-adult) children
50% to surviving spouse; and 50% divided evenly among eligible children
If the public safety officer has no surviving spouse, but has children 
100% divided evenly among eligible children
If the public safety officer has no spouse and no children
100% to the PSOB benefits designee on file with the public safety officer’s employing agency
If the public safety officer has no spouse, no children, and no PSOB benefits designee
100% to life insurance designee on file with the public safety officer’s employing agency
If the public safety officer has no spouse, no children, no PSOB benefits designee or life insurance designee
100% divided evenly among the public safety officer’s parents
If the public safety officer has no spouse, no children, no PSOB benefits designee, no life insurance designee, or no surviving parents
100% divided evenly among the public safety officer’s adult children

How do I file a PSOB application?  

The Benefits page provides information about the PSOB program and instructions for filing PSOB death, disability, and education benefits applications.  Refer to the PSOB Information Kit for vital information about the claims process, or Click Here to view a short video on how to file for PSOB benefits using PSOB's online claims portal.

Where can I find the PSOB Law and Regulations? 

The Public Safety Officers' Benefits Act of 1976, Public Law 94-430 is codified at 42 U.S.C. Chapter 46, Subchapter XII.  Its implementing regulations are found at 28 C.F.R. pt. 32.  Click Here for more information on PSOB's law and regulations. 

How long do I have to file a PSOB Claim?  

For Death Benefits:

You may apply for PSOB death benefits at any time after the death of a public safety officer.  Before you submit your application, please ensure that you have thoroughly reviewed the information found on the PSOB website and PSOB Information Kit.  The PSOB Information Kit contains valuable information about the necessary documents that you need to file with your application.

A complete application for death benefits must be received by the PSOB Office, no later than the following:

  • Three years after the public safety officer's death; or
  • One year after a final determination (approval or denial) of any benefit legally payable by the employing public safety agency with respect to deaths of public safety officers of his kind, rank, and tenure; or
  • One year after certification from the employing public safety agency that it is not legally authorized to pay any benefits to any person with respect to the deaths of public safety officers of his kind, rank, and tenure.

For Disability Benefits:

A public safety officer may apply for PSOB disability benefits after he or she is medically retired from service and is permanently and totally disabled as the direct and proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the line of duty.

A complete application for disability benefits must be received by the PSOB Office, no later than the following:

  • Three years after the public safety officer's injury date; or
  • One year after receiving a final approval determination granting the maximum disability benefits (including workers' compensation) legally payable by the agency with respect to public safety officers of his kind, rank, and tenure; or
  • One year after a final determination denying the public safety officer disability benefits (including workers' compensation) with respect to disabled public safety officers of his kind, rank, and tenure; or
  • One year after the receipt of a certification from the employing public safety agency that it is not legally authorized to pay any benefits with respect to disabled public safety officer of his kind, rank, and tenure to any person.

For Education Benefits:

You may apply for PSOB education benefits after receiving an approved determination for a PSOB death or disability benefit.  PSOB regulations limit payments to forty-five months of full-time education or training or a proportional period of time for a part-time program.  PSOB regulations also limit payment for education completed by an eligible child up to the child’s 27th birthday.

What documents are needed to submit a PSOB Death Benefits application? 

Click Here for information on the documents needed to submit a Death Benefits application.

What documents are needed to submit a PSOB Disability Benefits application? 

Click Here for information on the documents needed to submit a Disability Benefits application.

How do I submit changes/updates to my existing application?  

Contact the PSOB Office at 1-888-744-6513 and a Customer Resource Specialist will guide you through the process based upon your circumstances.

How will my claim be reviewed, and when will my claim be determined? 

Click Here for information on the PSOB claims review process.

How do I appeal my determination?  

For information on the PSOB Appeals process or to review a guide on submitting an Appeal Request, visit the Benefits homepage.

How do I submit a Filing Extension Request?  

For Death Benefits:

The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) regulations provide that a claim must be filed within three years after the date of the individual’s death or one year after the receipt or denial of any benefits payable by the officer’s agency, unless the time for filing is extended by the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for good cause shown. 28 C.F.R. § 32.12(a).

In order for the BJA Director to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to waive the filing timeframe for a claim, please provide a statement addressed to the “BJA Director” explaining why you did not file your claim within the required time period. 

After drafting the statement, send your filing extension request, along with any supporting evidence to AskPSOB@usdoj.gov.

For Disability Benefits:

The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) regulations provide that a claim must be filed within three years from the injury date or one year after the Public Safety Officer has either received or been denied the maximum disability benefits legally payable by the individual’s public agency. The time for filing may be extended by the Director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) for good cause shown. See 28 C.F.R. § 32.22(a).

In order for the BJA Director to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to waive the filing requirement for your claim, please provide a statement addressed to the BJA Director explaining why you did not file your claim within the required time period, and noting the dates requested below.

  • Date of Injury
  • Date of Medical Retirement
  • Date of Approval or Denial of Disability Retirement Benefits

After drafting the statement, send your filing extension request, along with any supporting evidence to AskPSOB@usdoj.gov.

For Appeal Requests:

The timeframe to submit an Appeal Request is 33 days from the date stamped on your notification letter. If your Appeal Request is being submitted past the timeframe, you must include a statement justifying your late submission to the PSOB Office in order for the BJA Director to determine whether there are sufficient grounds to waive the filing requirement for your claim. Your statement must establish good cause for a filing extension to be granted. See 28 C.F.R. § 32.42 and 28 C.F.R. § 32.52.

After drafting the statement, send your filing extension request, along with any supporting evidence to AskPSOB@usdoj.gov.

After submitting your statement:

After your statement is submitted, it will be reviewed and you will be contacted regarding your request. For questions regarding this statement, please do not hesitate to contact PSOB at 1-888-744-6513 or by submitting a message to the PSOB Office using Messages in MyPSOB.