House passes bill to ensure federal death and disability benefits for first responders afflicted by coronavirus

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  • Published: 07/21/2020 12:00 AM

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday adopted legislation sponsored by Bainbridge Township GOP Rep. Dave Joyce to ensure that families of first responders who die from or are disabled by the coronavirus get Public Safety Officers Benefit program payments for firefighters, police officers and emergency medical technicians who are killed or disabled in the line of duty. The bill, cosponsored by Rocky River GOP Rep. Anthony Gonzalez and Warrensville Heights Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge, passed on a noncontroversial voice vote. It passed the U.S. Senate on May 14, so it will become law after President Donald Trump signs it. Their “Safeguarding America’s First Responders Act” creates a presumption that if a first responder is diagnosed with the coronavirus within 45 days of their last day on the job, the Department of Justice will treat it as a line of duty incident and provide the payments.


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