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First responders bill passes unanimously in the Senate

First responders bill passes unanimously in the Senate

May 17, 2019 10:37 AM

WASHINGTON, DC (WHEC) — The Protecting America's First Responders Act proposed by Senators Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA) has passed unanimously in the Senate.

The legislation will change the way the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) program calculates the benefits it distributes. The PSOB provides disability benefits for officers permanently injured in the line of duty and survivors of officers lost in the line of duty.

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The benefits are currently calculated based on the date of the injury. Under the Protecting America's First Responders Act, benefits would be calculated based on the date the benefits are given, accounting for the increased cost of living.

The new legislation would benefit 9/11 first responders and families who are currently considered "injured" on September 11, 2001.

In 2017, Gillibrand and Grassley passed the Public Safety Officers Improvement Act to reduce the amount of time families of fallen first responders have to wait before receiving benefits.

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