DOJ database will expedite survivor funds

DOJ database will expedite survivor funds

John Ashcroft

The Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs is building a database to accelerate the processing of compensation claims filed by survivors of police, fire and rescue workers killed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Attorney General John Ashcroft announced the creation of the database Sept. 13 as one of several steps to speed release of the $150,000 tax-free payments due to survivors from the Public Safety Officers Benefits Program. The office also will simplify approving benefits applications by accepting blanket eligibility certifications from local law enforcement, fire and rescue agencies on behalf of their slain employees' survivors.

Ashcroft said the payments would provide a measure of relief to the husbands, wives and children of the fallen, and serve as 'a small tribute to those who sacrificed so that others might be saved.' The family members also can receive educational benefits under the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968.

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