State and federal benefits are available for the surviving family members of officers who have died in the line of duty. Most benefits also apply to the children and spouses of officers who have been permanently disabled in the line of duty. If you have educational costs that exceed the amount the student is eligible for under either or both of these programs, then the Police Officer Assistance Trust can provide assistance to help cover these expenses. Please contact the POAT office after first securing the benefits available at the state and federal level.
Click here for the POAT Application for Line of Duty Survivors. (Spouses and children of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty serving Miami-Dade County)
The Public Safety Officers’ Benefits (PSOB) Program includes the Public Safety Officers’ Educational Assistance (PSOEA) Program, which expands on efforts started under the Federal Law Enforcement Dependents Assistance (FLEDA) Act (Public Law 104-238) of 1996. The PSOEA Program provides assistance for higher education for the spouses and children of federal, state, and local public safety officers who have been killed or permanently disabled in the line of duty.
The spouse of a public safety office is eligible to receive PSOEA funds for educational expenses at any time during his or her lifetime. However, for a child of the deceased or disabled officer, eligibility is limited to educational expenses that occur prior to his or her 27th birthday. Also, a spouse or child is eligible to receive funds for a period no greater than 45 months of full-time education or a proportionate period of a part-time program.
PSOEA benefits may be used solely to defray educational expenses, including tuition, room and board, books, supplies, and education-related fees. The amount of assistance is determined by whether the student attended school as a full-time, three-quarter time, half-time, or less-than-half-time student. The amount of assistance is subject to change.
In order to apply for this benefit, you must first apply for the Public Safety Officers’ Benefit Program. For more information, please follow the instructions here.
The State of Florida also provides financial assistance to surviving spouses and children which includes educational and insurance premium benefits. For more information please view the following PDF from the C.O.P.S. website here or call Florida Department of Labor, Division of Workers Compensation 800-342-1741.
C.O.P.S. Scholarship Programs
C.O.P.S. scholarships provide financial assistance to surviving children and to surviving spouses of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, according to Federal government criteria, who wish to pursue a course of study beyond high school. Scholarships are not awarded for post-graduate study or to survivors who are entitled to a tuition-free education as a state death benefit.
Please visit the C.O.P.S. website for more details.
American Police Hall of Fame Scholarship
The American Federation of Police & Concerned Citizens (AFP&CC) honors the memory of men and women killed in the line of duty both as officers and as parents, by assisting their children in attaining a college education, an experience which has an immeasurable impact on a young adult’s life and future. Fallen officers leave behind a legacy of courage, commitment and honor. Unfortunately, that is not all they leave behind. Many of our fallen officers leave sons and daughters whose lives are forever changed by the hardship of losing a parent.
See website for additional information afpcc.org.
Police Officer Assistance Trust
POAT offers five scholarships yearly, each with its own guidelines. Please visit our Scholarship Page where you will find complete details on the requirements and the application for each.