May 19, 2020
NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio today announced his support for line-of-duty death benefits for survivors of municipal employees who die of COVID-19.
"Our public servants have gone above and beyond during this crisis, and the loved ones of those we've lost deserve our full support," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "That’s why I’m advancing State legislation to authorize line-of-duty death benefits for the families of City employees who die of COVID-19. We must honor their dedication to our city."
The City will work with the State Legislature to pass legislation to establish a presumption that COVID-19 deaths occurred in the line-of-duty, which would grant death benefits and health insurance to surviving family members. The Mayor previously granted a 45-day extension of health insurance to surviving family members of city workers who die of COVID-19.
“Many municipal employees have put their lives on the line to help our city battle this pandemic, and far too many have paid the ultimate price. The City Council supports efforts to grant benefits to the families of the city workers who died in the line of duty because of COVID. We will never forget their sacrifice,” said Council Speaker Corey Johnson.
"I am glad to have the Mayor's and City's support on State legislation we are working on to ensure family members of those who lost their lives battling coronavirus receive the line-of-duty benefits. The only way to properly honor the memories of our fallen heroes is to ensure their family members are cared for, and I look forward to getting this vital work done alongside state and city partners," said Senator Andrew Gounardes.
“Essential city workers put themselves in danger every day so that the city can continue to function during the Coronavirus pandemic, and devastatingly some have lost their lives. The families of these heroes are then left helpless. We need to do all we can to help these New Yorkers, so I fully support line-of-duty death benefits for survivors of city workers who die of COVID-19,” said Senator James Sanders Jr.
“I am very happy to hear the Mayor recognizes the brutal toll that COVID-19 has taken on Essential Workers and the obligation we have to protect their families. Having the City be on the same side will allow the legislature to proceed in a quicker fashion and ease the passage of legislation. We look forward to the passage of a bill to address Line of Duty benefits for all public workers and we will continue the efforts to address potential long term disability issues that may arise in the future and will lean on our Federal lawmakers to help develop relief for those who are not members of the Public Sector workforce,” said Senator Diane Savino.
"Survivors of all city workers whose deaths are caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is critically important. Our workers are on the front lines every day, keeping the city functioning. The families of these heroes deserve our support," said Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.
"I am happy to see that the Mayor is supportive of NYC public employees receiving death benefits for the families of those who passed of COVID-19, an important issue that I recently introduced into the State Legislature by myself and my colleagues. We will work collaboratively to pass legislation as quickly as possible. As always, the protection of our city and state employees, and their families, is my utmost priority, especially during this difficult time,” said Assembly Member Peter Abbate, Jr.
"As a member of the New York State Assembly Governmental Employees committee, I am always willing to work with the City of New York to create legislation to ensure municipal workers have the benefits they need. Especially during this pandemic, for those workers who gave their lives to keep us safe, it is our responsibility to take care of these families who have sacrificed so much, and make sure they have financial and healthcare benefits," Assembly Member Pheffer Amato.
"Essential government workers who pass away as a result of contracting COVID-19 on the job are heroes to us all. These commendable people imperiled their safety to keep our city safe and running. I am committed to working with Mayor de Blasio and my colleagues in the State Legislature to pass legislation to allow surviving family members of municipal employees that died from COVID-19 to apply for line-of-duty death benefits and health insurance," said Assembly Member Michael G. DenDekker.
"There is a lot of precedent in New York for granting line-of-duty death benefits for the families of City workers who die of COVID-19. I would welcome this," said Assembly Health Committee chair Richard N. Gottfried.
“While other New Yorkers were being told to stay home, these employees showed up and did their job and served their city. They deserve line of duty benefits in support of the families they’ve left behind. Thank you Mayor de Blasio for listening to our concerns and working with us to make this happen,” said Assembly Member Malliotakis.
“I applaud Mayor de Blasio for his support of providing the families of city workers who have died of COVID-19 with line of duty benefits. City employees have put their lives and their bodies on the line to protect New Yorkers and to keep this city functioning during this public health crisis. It is only fitting that we honor their service to our city through protecting their families and providing them with the vital support that they need to survive. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the New York State Legislature to provide this important guarantee to the families of fallen city employees,” said Assembly Member Karines Reyes.
“First responders and their families have bravely answered the call to duty, exposing themselves to the grave dangers of this pandemic. We have an unquestionable duty to provide financial support to surviving families for the loss of their substantial breadwinner, who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our benefit to keep our city running. I am duty bound to support the Mayor’s call for prompt legislative action to provide line-of-duty death benefits to the families of municipal employees who died of COVID-19 as quickly as possible,” said Assembly Member N. Nick Perry.
“Right now, we are witnessing the resilience of New Yorkers who must continue to work to care for the sick and to operate our city’s core services. Many of them have lost their lives in order to help us stay connected, ensure we can travel, keep our city clean, and keep us safe. It is only right that we pass legislation to ensure city workers who pass away are considered to have died in the line-of-duty, so that we can honor their memory and provide support to their family members,” said Assembly Member Jo Anne Simon.
"Municipal employees, like our Corrections Officers and Correctional Staff, have been on the front lines on the fight against Coronavirus," said Assemblyman David I. Weprin, Assembly Correction Committee Chair. "There is no question that any COVID - 19 related deaths for these dedicated employees should be considered as occurring on the line-of-duty and I am glad to partner with Mayor Bill de Blasio to ensure that the families of these essential workers are provided for with the benefits they worked so hard to earn and surely deserve.”
“Our public servants have stood at the forefront of the government response to COVID-19 with great courage, and at great personal sacrifice to preserve our health, safety, and quality of life,” said Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Committee on Civil Service and Labor Chair. “For all that the families of our fallen heroes have suffered, the least we can do is try to make them whole. We thank Mayor de Blasio for joining our call for the State to pass COVID-19 line-of-duty legislation to help give these families the long-term financial and healthcare security they richly deserve in recognition of their loved ones’ commitment to excellence, and the value they consistently added to our city.”
“The mayor is on the right side of this issue. Our families of essential workers are left high and dry and now I am glad we are moving towards addressing this horrible burden,” said Council Member Joe Borelli.