If you die as the result of an accident while you are an active member, your survivor may be eligible to receive an accidental death benefit, which is greater than the regular survivor benefit amount.

When is my survivor eligible to receive an accidental death benefit?

Your survivor is eligible to receive an accidental death benefit in two situations:

  • if, while you are an active member, you die as the result of a work-related accident or injury, or
  • if you retired under accidental disability, and you die as a result of the injury or condition that precipitated your retirement.

What will my survivor receive as an accidental death benefit allowance?

If you are an active member and you are survived by a spouse, dependent child or dependent parent, your survivor will receive a one-time lump-sum payment of the balance in your annuity savings account, plus a lifetime survivor allowance equal to 72% of your current annual compensation. Your surviving spouse or guardian will also receive an additional $312 per year for each child under age 18, or under 22 if a full-time student. Children who are physically or mentally incapacitated from earning will receive a lifetime benefit.

If you retired under an accidental disability and you later die as the result of the injury or condition for which you received accidental disability benefits, your surviving spouse may apply for an accidental death benefit. If granted by the Board, your spouse’s lifetime benefit would be equal to 72% of what your yearly compensation was when you were last employed. In addition, your spouse would receive a one-time, lump-sum payment of the balance in your annuity savings account as of the time that the Board approved the benefit allowance. Your surviving spouse would also receive an additional $312 per year for each child under age 18, or under 22 if a full-time student. Children who are physically or mentally incapacitated from earning will receive a lifetime benefit.

If you retired under an accidental disability prior to November 7, 1996, and you die as the result of a cause unrelated to the condition for which you received accidental disability benefits, your surviving spouse could apply to receive an accidental death benefit of $12,000 per year ($1,000 per month).

Does the Board automatically award an accidental death allowance, or does my survivor have to apply for benefits?

Your survivor would need to apply for accidental death benefits, and the Board would have to review and approve his or her application. Your survivor should contact our office for detailed information.