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Frontline Workers Get Death Benefits

New York passes an expansion of death benefits for COVID-19 deaths

Kris LaGrange's picture
Jun 02, 2020

On Saturday, May 30th New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill to grant death benefits to frontline workers who died in the war against COVID-19.

Workers who are eligible for the benefits include police officers, public health workers, transit workers, and paramedics. "This new law will provide death benefits to the families of state and local government frontline workers who died from COVID-19 and gave their lives for us," Governor Cuomo said. "It is the least we can do to say thank you, and we honor you, and we remember you. We will be there to support your families going forward. And we say to their families, we thank you, we grieve for your loss, and we will always be there for you the way your loved one was there for us."

Death benefits in the state of New York for workers who die in the line of duty include paying a portion of funeral costs and up to 66% of that person's salary is rewarded to a spouse until remarriage or if the person had children. The money will come from local or state pension funds, Cuomo said.

While there is not yet an official count of how many people will be eligible for this benefit, we do know that the City of New York reported in mid-April that at least 138 city employees had died of COVID-19. Additionally, the MTA had 123 deaths as of May 20th.

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