PSOB Information for COVID Related Line-of-Duty Deaths
March 21, 2023
The Safeguarding America’s Fire Responders Act (SOSA), along with a subsequent law extending this legislation enacted on November 18, 2021, temporarily expands Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) to cover public safety officers (including firefighters) who die or are permanently disabled as a result of COVID contracted in the line of duty. The amended version of SOSA ends PSOB coverage for COVID line-of-duty deaths and injuries at either the conclusion of the COVID public health emergency declared by the Department of Health and Human Services or December 31, 2023, whichever comes later.
SOSA enables a public safety officer to be covered by PSOB if the officer engaged in a line-of-duty activity, was diagnosed with COVID (or evidence indicates they had COVID) within 45 days of engaging in the line-of-duty activity, and dies or becomes permanently disabled as a result of COVID. For information on the PSOB program as a whole and how to apply, refer to the Bureau of Justice Assistance’s PSOB FAQ sheet.