Right now, the families of first responders who die of the coronavirus must first prove that they were infected on the job before they can collect federal death benefits.
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators say that’s unfair, and they’ve introduced legislation to automatically declare that first responders who die of COVID-19 gave their lives in the line of duty. The measure was introduced Tuesday by U.S. Sens. Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa.
“It’s the least we can do for the people who put their lives on the line to protect us,” Booker said on a conference call with U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.
It guarantees federal benefits to families of first responders — police officers, firefighters and emergency medical technicians — who die due to the virus without first having to prove that the first responder was infected while on the job.