Oregon Statutes - Chapter 243 - Public Employee Rights and Benefits - Section 243.956 - Eligibility for benefits from fund; types of benefits.

(1) A person is eligible for an award of benefits from the Public Safety Memorial Fund if the person:

(a)(A) Is a family member, parent or designee of a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying death or disability; or

(B) Is a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying disability; and

(b) Has submitted an initial application for an award of benefits under ORS 243.958.

(2) Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, a person is not eligible for an award of benefits if:

(a) The personís actions were a substantial contributing factor to the qualifying death or disability of the public safety officer;

(b) The public safety officerís intentional misconduct caused the qualifying death or disability;

(c) The public safety officer intended to bring about the officerís qualifying death or disability;

(d) The public safety officer was voluntarily intoxicated at the time of the injury that caused the qualifying death or disability; or

(e) The public safety officer was performing the officerís duties in a grossly negligent manner at the time of the injury that caused the qualifying death or disability.

(3) If a person who is eligible for an award of benefits under subsection (1) of this section is younger than 18 years of age or is incompetent, another person may file the application for an award of benefits on behalf of the eligible person.

(4) Within 14 days after receipt of a notice under ORS 243.974 or entry of an order under ORS 243.964 awarding benefits based on an initial application, whichever occurs later, the Public Safety Memorial Fund Board shall pay a lump sum amount of $25,000:

(a) If a designation of beneficiary form has been completed under ORS 243.974 (1), to the designee of a public safety officer who suffered a qualifying death;

(b) If a designation of beneficiary form has not been completed, in the manner described under ORS 243.969, to a family member or parent of a public safety officer who suffered a qualifying death; or

(c) To the public safety officer who suffered a qualifying disability.

(5) If alternative coverage is not provided, the board may award benefits to the family members of a public safety officer or, if a designation of beneficiary form has been completed under ORS 243.974 (1), to the designee, children and dependents of a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying death or disability in an amount sufficient to allow the recipients to purchase health and dental insurance comparable to that provided by the public safety officer:

(a) For five years or until the spouse remarries, whichever occurs first;

(b) Until a child or a dependent attains 18 years of age or, if the child or the dependent is attending school, 23 years of age; and

(c) For five years for a designee who is not a person described in paragraph (a) or (b) of this subsection, or until the designee marries, whichever occurs first.

(6) If alternative coverage is not provided, the board may award benefits for five years to a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying disability in an amount sufficient to allow the public safety officer to purchase health and dental insurance comparable to the health and dental insurance coverage that the public safety officer had immediately prior to the qualifying disability.

(7) The board may award benefits to an eligible spouse or designee of a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying death or to a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying disability in an amount up to the equivalent of 12 monthly mortgage payments on the residence of the public safety officer or the spouse or designee of the public safety officer if there is no mortgage insurance to cover the cost.

(8)(a) The board may award scholarships for a graduate program of higher education to:

(A) A family member of a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying death or disability;

(B) If a designation of beneficiary form has been completed under ORS 243.974 (1), to the designee, children and dependents of a public safety officer who suffered a qualifying death or disability; or

(C) To a public safety officer who has suffered a qualifying disability.

(b) In determining the amount of a scholarship, the board shall consider the personís financial need, the funds available in the Public Safety Memorial Fund and the anticipated demands on the fund. The board may not grant a scholarship in an amount exceeding the highest tuition charged by a state institution of higher education for a graduate program.

(9) A family member, a designee or a public safety officer is eligible to apply for a scholarship under subsection (8) of this section only if the family member, designee or public safety officer:

(a) Has exhausted the education benefits available under 28 C.F.R., Part 32, subpart B;

(b) Applies for the scholarship within one year from the date of exhaustion of the education benefits under paragraph (a) of this subsection; and

(c) Has applied for other available public education benefits.

(10) If a person described in subsection (8) of this section is ineligible to receive education benefits under 28 C.F.R., Part 32, subpart B, if funds for education benefits are unavailable under those provisions or if the education benefit program under those provisions no longer exists, the person may apply to the board for a scholarship for an undergraduate program. Scholarships for only undergraduate degrees may be awarded to a person under this subsection. The board may not grant a scholarship under this subsection in an amount exceeding the highest tuition charged by a state institution of higher education for an undergraduate program.

(11)(a) A person may apply for a scholarship under subsection (10) of this section at any time up to:

(A) Five years after the date on which the applicant graduated from high school if:

(i) The applicant was a minor at the time the public safety officer suffered a qualifying death or disability; and

(ii) An application for an award of some type of benefits was filed by a person described in subsection (8) of this section;

(B) The date the applicant remarries, if the applicant is the surviving spouse of a public safety officer who suffered a qualifying death, or the date the applicant divorces the public safety officer, if the applicant is the spouse of a public safety officer who suffered a qualifying disability; or

(C) Five years after the date of the injury that caused the disability, if the applicant is a public safety officer who suffered a qualifying disability or is a designee who is not a family member.

(b) The board may extend the time period for applying for a scholarship under subsection (10) of this section.

(12) If the family member, designee or public safety officer who is awarded a scholarship under this section is receiving other public education benefits, the amount of the scholarship awarded to the family member, designee or public safety officer shall be reduced by the amount of the other public education benefits. [1999 c.981 §5; 2001 c.493 §1; 2003 c.295 §2; 2007 c.378 §2]

Note: See note under 243.950.

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Last modified: August 7, 2008