If you become disabled or die in the line of duty, you or your beneficiaries may be eligible for benefits under the Virginia Line of Duty Act (LODA).

Death Benefit

Under LODA, designated beneficiaries (or family members, absent a will) may be eligible for a death benefit in the event the LODA-eligible employee or volunteer dies in the line of duty.

The beneficiary or family member must file a claim with the Virginia Retirement System (VRS) to be considered for LODA benefits.

In addition, an eligible spouse and eligible family members may qualify for premium-free coverage under LODA Health Benefits Plans, administered by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

The death benefit is a one-time payment made to a beneficiary or the beneficiaries of deceased eligible employees or volunteers:

 

One-time payment for surviving spouse and dependents.
Benefit Scenario
$100,000 Death as the direct or proximate result of performing duty January 1, 2006, or after
$25,000 Cause of death is attributed to one of the applicable presumptions and is within five years of the retirement date
$20,000 Additional benefit paid when certain members of the National Guard and U.S. military reserves are killed in action in any armed conflict on or after October 7, 2001

The Importance of Having a Will

LODA-eligible employees and volunteers should keep their wills up to date to ensure that any death benefit payment is made according to their wishes. Otherwise, the order of precedence will determine who receives a death benefit.

Funeral Expenses

The beneficiary or beneficiaries may request benefits to pay funeral expenses (burial and transportation) to the funeral service provider, as an advance of the death benefit payment.

If a claim is later denied, then the claimant must return the funeral expense advance.

LODA Disability

If you become disabled in the line of duty, you and your eligible spouse and eligible family members may enroll in the LODA Health Benefits Plans administered by the Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM).

For a claim to be considered, it must be filed within five years of the onset of the disability. To start a claim for LODA disability, VRS must receive your completed Claim for Line of Duty Act (LODA) Benefits . If the LODA disability claim is approved, VRS will mail the letter of approval along with the LODA Health Benefits Plans enrollment form to the LODA-eligible employee or volunteer and eligible family members.

LODA Reevaluation

Eligibility for the LODA disability benefit may be reevaluated by VRS at any time. Failure to comply with a reevaluation will result in suspension or loss of benefits.

Health Coverage

LODA Health Benefits Plans, which are administered by Virginia Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) , include premium-free coverage for:

  • Eligible family members of employees or volunteers killed in the line of duty.
  • Employees or volunteers determined to be disabled in the line of duty and their eligible family members.

LODA Health Benefits Plans

DHRM has provided a LODA Health Benefits Plans fact sheet to participants who are currently receiving LODA benefits. It includes information about changes that will be effective July 1, 2017.

For more information on LODA Health Benefits Plans coverage, visit the DHRM website .

Additional Benefits

If you become disabled or die in the line of duty, you or your beneficiary also may be eligible for additional benefits.

Federal Benefits

The Federal Public Safety Officers’ Benefit Act provides death and education benefits to survivors of fallen law enforcement officers, firefighters and other first responders, and disability benefits to officers catastrophically injured in the line of duty.

For more information, contact the Bureau of Justice Assistance toll-free at 1-888-744-6513 or visit psob.gov.

Virginia Retirement System Benefits

If you are a VRS member, you may be eligible for other benefits in addition to those provided through LODA. You must apply separately for these benefits: