§ 22-501.  Service-Connected Death and Health Care Benefits.
   (1)   Death due solely to performance of member's duties. If the Board determines that the death of a member resulted solely from the performance of the duties of such member's position and was not caused by the member's own wrongful conduct, a service-connected death benefit shall become payable. The Board shall avail itself of the services of the Medical Panel in making its determination whether the member died solely as a result of the performance of the duties of the member's position.
   (2)   Benefit amount. 122 The service-connected death benefit shall be an amount equal to the total deceased member's contributions to the Retirement System, without interest, together with additional amounts of benefits payable as follows:
      (a)   A surviving spouse or surviving Life Partner who was living with the member or entitled to support from such member at the time of death shall receive an annual benefit equal to sixty percent (60%) of the member's final compensation. If a child or children, under the age of eighteen (18) years also survive the deceased member, each such child shall receive an annual benefit equal to ten percent (10%) of the member's final compensation until such child attains the age of eighteen, but in no event shall the total annual amount paid to the surviving spouse or surviving Life Partner and dependent children exceed eighty percent (80%) of the member's final compensation.
      (b)   If there is no such surviving spouse or Life Partner, or such surviving spouse dies, remarries or enters into a Life Partnership before any surviving child of such deceased member shall have attained the age of eighteen (18) years, or such surviving Life Partner dies, marries, or re-enters into a Life Partnership, then each child under such age shall receive an annual benefit equal to twenty-five percent (25%) of the member's final compensation, but in no event shall the total annual benefit so paid in any one (1) year exceed seventy-five percent (75%) of the member's final compensation. If there are more than three (3) surviving children under the age of eighteen (18) years, the children shall receive equal shares of such seventy-five percent (75%) of final compensation. When any such child dies or attains the age of eighteen (18) years, there shall be a redistribution by the Board to the surviving children under such age, but in no event shall any child receive more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the member's final compensation in any one year.
      (c)   If there is no such surviving spouse or surviving Life Partner and there is no child under the age of eighteen (18) years surviving such deceased member, then an amount equal to fifteen percent (15%) of final compensation shall be paid to the surviving father and/or mother, if any, of the deceased member if the Board, after investigation, shall find that such parent or parents were actually dependent upon such deceased member through absence of earning power as the result of disability or old age.
      (d)   If there is no such surviving spouse, surviving Life Partner, child under the age of eighteen (18) years or dependent parent surviving such deceased member, then the ordinary death benefit calculated as provided by subsection 22-502(2) (Ordinary Death Benefits) shall be payable to the deceased member's beneficiary.
   (3)   Proof of widowhood, non-participation in a Life Partnership, or dependency. 123 Any survivor receiving benefits pursuant to the provisions of subsection 22-501(2) above, shall, not later than the fifteenth day of January of each year, file with the Board proof of continued widowhood, non-participation in a Life Partnership, or dependency, as the case may be. Failure to file such proof shall result in the suspension of benefits until such proof has been filed.
   (4)   Reduction of benefit. Service-connected death benefits will not be reduced by any special death benefit provided by law, except workers' compensation benefits. Receipt of workers' compensation benefits for service- connected death will reduce the service-connected death benefit payments by the Retirement System by an equal amount.
   (5)   Service-connected health care benefit. If the Board determines that the death of a Police Employee or Fire Employee who had been a member of Plan A, Plan B, Plan D, Plan X or Plan '10 resulted from the performance of the duties of such member's position, a service-connected health care benefit shall become payable to the survivors of such member as set forth below. The Board shall avail itself of the services of the Medical Panel in making its determination whether the member died as a result of the performance of the duties of the member's position. 124
      (a)   The service-connected health care benefit shall consist of regular payments on behalf of the spouse or Life Partner and the member's dependent children of the appropriate cost of maintaining medical, dental, optical and pharmaceutical prescription benefits for such beneficiaries at the same benefit level as would have been in force if the deceased member were still alive and employed in the same position as held at the time of death. Payments on behalf of a spouse shall cease upon remarriage or entry into a Life Partnership. Payments on behalf of a Life Partner shall cease upon marriage or re-entry into a Life Partnership. Payments on behalf of any surviving child shall cease when the child reaches the age of eighteen (18) years or, if any such child upon attaining age eighteen is and remains dependent because of physical or mental infirmity, the duration of the infirmity or, if the child is enrolled as a full-time undergraduate student, when the child ceases to be so enrolled or attains the age of twenty-two (22) years, whichever occurs first. 125
         (.1)   The payments provided for above shall be made to such health care providers or insurers as were designated by the member prior to his or her death unless and until the beneficiary directs that such payments be made to a different provider or insurer.
         (.2)   The payments provided for above shall be made in coordination with such additional payments as may be designated by the beneficiaries under subsection 22-1303(2).
         (.3)   Whenever any beneficiary is entitled to medical, dental, optical or pharmaceutical prescription benefits as a result of a group health insurance plan derived from employment, educational, or other status, the benefits provided under such plan shall be primary and the entitlement provided herein shall be deemed secondary. In no event shall benefits be paid by the City to the extent that, together with primary benefits, payee would receive more than one hundred percent (100%) of costs for the same expense.
      (b)   Benefits payable pursuant to this subsection 22-501(5) shall be general obligations of the City and shall not be payable from the assets of the Retirement System.
   (6)   Notwithstanding any provision of this Title to the contrary, benefits payable to, or on behalf of, a survivor under other provisions of this Title shall not result in a reduction of any benefits payable to, or on behalf of, a survivor under subsection 22-501(5)(a).

 

Notes

122
   Amended, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).
123
   Amended, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).
124
   Amended, Bill No. 100286 (approved June 23, 2010). See note 4 for effective date provisions.
125
   Amended, Bill No. 040755 (became law February 10, 2005). Section 2 of Bill No. 040755 provides: "Effective Date and Retroactivity. The provisions of this Ordinance shall take effect immediately and shall apply retroactively with respect to any applications that were approved by the Board of Pensions and Retirement after the effective date of the original bill adding this benefit (Bill No. 655-A of 1986), January 23, 1986." Amended, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).