Why a Dallas widow is fighting for better benefits for firefighter survivors

  • Source: Dallas News
  • Published: 05/14/2019 12:00 AM

Kristi Walters said her husband David endured many “close calls” in his two decades as a Dallas firefighter. But David Walters, 49, last year didn't die at a blaze or a car-wreck scene or at the fire station; he collapsed suddenly after playing a little football with his family the day after Thanksgiving. And the fact that David didn't die in the line of duty created major financial ramifications for his family. Days after his death, the city of Dallas notified Kristi, 52, that she and her three teenage sons couldn't stay on the city's health insurance plan. The grieving widow was stunned. The city referred her to COBRA health insurance — which would’ve more than doubled her husband's health insurance premium to about $1,100 a month. Kristi, who makes roughly $20,000 a year as a part-time fitness instructor, was set to receive survivor benefits from her husband’s pension, but she said COBRA alone now eats up most of that.


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