The Vermont Statutes Online
NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.
NOTE: The online version of the Vermont Statutes does NOT yet include the actions of the 2023 legislative session. The 2023 updates should be available by the end of October.
§ 3171. Definitions
As used in this chapter:
(1) “Board” means the Emergency Personnel Survivors Benefit Review Board.
(2) “Child” means a natural or legally adopted child, regardless of age.
(3) “Emergency personnel” means:
(A) firefighters as defined in subdivision 3151(3) of this title; and
(B) emergency medical personnel and volunteer personnel as defined in 24 V.S.A. § 2651.
(4) “Line of duty” means:
(A) answering or returning from a call of the department for a fire or emergency or training drill; or
(B) similar service in another town or district to which the department has been called for firefighting or emergency purposes.
(5) “Occupation-related illness” means a disease that directly arises out of, and in the course of, service, including a heart injury or disease symptomatic within 72 hours from the date of last service in the line of duty, which shall be presumed to be incurred in the line of duty.
(6) “Parent” means a natural or adoptive parent.
(7) “Survivor” means a spouse, child, or parent of emergency personnel. (Added 2001, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 33, § 1; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 400, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 3172. Emergency Personnel Survivors Benefit Review Board
(a) There is created the Emergency Personnel Survivors Benefit Review Board, which shall consist of the State Treasurer or designee, the Attorney General or designee, the Chief Fire Service Training Officer of the Vermont Fire Service Training Council or designee, and one member of the public to represent the interests of emergency personnel appointed by the Governor for a term of two years. Survivors of emergency personnel, employed by or who volunteer for the State of Vermont, a county or municipality of the State, or a nonprofit entity that provides services in the State, who die in the line of duty or of an occupation-related illness may request the Board award a monetary benefit under section 3173 of this title. The Board shall be responsible for determining whether to award monetary benefits under section 3173. A decision to award monetary benefits shall be made by unanimous vote of the Board and shall be made within 60 days after the receipt of all information necessary to enable the Board to determine eligibility. The Board may request any information necessary for the exercise of its duties under this section. Nothing in this section shall prevent the Board from initiating the investigation or determination of a claim before being requested by a survivor or employer of emergency personnel.
(b) Within 10 days after the Board has reached its decision, it shall notify the named survivors of its decision by certified mail. If the Board denies the claim, the named survivors shall have 60 days from the date of receiving the denial to file an appeal with the Superior Court in the county in which the deceased was employed or was an authorized volunteer.
(c) If the Board decides to award a monetary benefit, the benefit shall be paid to the surviving spouse or, if the emergency personnel had no spouse at the time of death, to the surviving child, or equally among surviving children. If the deceased emergency personnel is not survived by a spouse or child, the benefit shall be paid to a surviving parent, or equally between surviving parents. If the deceased emergency personnel is not survived by a spouse, children, or parents, the Board shall not award a monetary benefit under this chapter.
(d) Upon a Board decision to award a monetary benefit under this chapter, the Treasurer shall make payment to the beneficiaries as described in subsection (c) of this section.
(e) The State Treasurer’s office shall provide staff, office space, and any other reasonable and necessary resources to the Board.
(f) The member of the public appointed by the Governor shall be entitled to per diem compensation authorized under 32 V.S.A. § 1010 for each day spent in the performance of his or her duties. (Added 2001, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 33, § 1; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 401, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 3173. Monetary benefit
(a) The survivors of emergency personnel who dies while in the line of duty or from an occupation-related illness may apply for a payment of $50,000.00 from the State.
(b) The State Treasurer shall disburse from the Special Fund established in section 3175 of this title the monetary benefit described in subsection (a) of this section and shall adopt necessary procedures for the disbursement of such funds. (Added 2001, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 33, § 1; 2011, No. 3, § 85, eff. Feb. 17, 2011; 2021, No. 105 (Adj. Sess.), § 402, eff. July 1, 2022.)
§ 3174. Board standards; guidelines; procedures
(a) The Board shall adopt standards, guidelines, and procedures for:
(1) determining whether and how monetary benefits shall be paid under this chapter;
(2) what information must initially be filed with a claim under this chapter; and
(3) administering the provisions of this chapter.
(b) Standards, guidelines, and procedures adopted under this section shall be exempt from the requirements of 3 V.S.A. chapter 25. (Added 2001, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1.)
§ 3175. Emergency Personnel Survivors Benefit Special Fund
(a) The Emergency Personnel Survivors Benefit Special Fund is established in the Office of the State Treasurer for the purpose of the payment of claims distributed pursuant to this chapter. The Fund shall comprise appropriations made by the General Assembly and contributions or donations from any other source. All balances in the Fund at the end of the fiscal year shall be carried forward. Interest earned shall remain in the Fund.
(b) [Repealed.] (Added 2001, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 2005, No. 33, § 1; 2007, No. 65, § 288; 2011, No. 139 (Adj. Sess.), § 51, eff. May 14, 2012.)