TITLE 45
Towns and Cities

CHAPTER 45-19
Relief of Injured and Deceased Fire Fighters and Police Officers

SECTION 45-19-12


§ 45-19-12. Annuities to dependents of deceased fire fighters and appropriations to nondependent parents of deceased fire fighters.

(a) If an active or retired member, of the fire force of a city or town or fire fighter for the town of North Smithfield is killed or dies from injuries received while in the performance of his or her duty as a member or dies of a heart condition, respiratory ailments, or any condition derived from hypertension while still a member, or dies as a victim of homicide while still a member while not in the performance of his or her duty as a member, there shall be paid out of the fire fighter's relief fund of Rhode Island to the following dependents of the deceased person, the following sums of money:

(1) To the widow or widower or domestic partner, an annuity not exceeding three thousand six hundred dollars ($3,600) a year, payable in the number of regular installments determined by the board and continuing as long as he or she remains unmarried or not in a domestic partnership and commencing with the date of death, but not more than six (6) months prior to the date of filing of the petition by the widow or widower or domestic partner;

(2) An additional annuity of one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200) a year, payable in the number of regular installments determined by the board, for each child of the deceased person during the time that the child is under the age of eighteen (18) years, or over the age and physically or mentally incapacitated from earning;

(3) If there is no widow or widower or domestic partner and no child, the total sum of ten thousand dollars ($10,000), payable in a lump sum for the benefit of the father and/or mother of the deceased, if not dependent upon him or her for support at the time of his or her death;

(4) If there is any child and no widow or widower or domestic partner or the widow or widower or domestic partner dies later, the sum and the annuity that should have been payable to the widow or widower or domestic partner had there been one or had he or she lived, to or for the benefit of the child or of the children, in equal shares during the previously stated time;

(5) If there is any child, and the widow or widower or domestic partner remarries or enters into a domestic partnership, in lieu of the previously stated annuity to him or her, an annuity not exceeding one thousand two hundred dollars ($1,200) to or for the benefit of each child during the time previously stated; and

(6) If there is no widow or widower or domestic partner and no child, the sum of three thousand six hundred dollars ($3,600) payable in regular installments by the board of fire fighter's relief, to or for the benefit of the father or mother of the deceased, if dependent upon him or her for support at the time of his or her death, and commencing with the date of death, but not more than six (6) months prior to the date of filing of the petition and continuing so long as the beneficiary is unable to support himself or herself and does not remarry or enter into a domestic partnership, an annuity not exceeding three thousand six hundred dollars ($3,600) a year, payable in the number of regular installments determined by the board.

(b) The amount of the annuity shall, from time to time, be determined within the limits previously stated by the board.

(c) The provisions of this section shall apply, in the case of any active or retired member of the fire force of any city or town or fire fighter for the town of North Smithfield who, from and after January 1, 1935, is killed or dies from injuries received while in the performance of his or her duty, or dies of a heart condition, respiratory ailments, or any condition derived from hypertension. The provisions of this section shall only be construed to apply prospectively.

(d) The amount of the annuity shall not be reduced by reason of receipt of any annuity and/or other payments to any beneficiary from any other source.

(e) Upon the death of a member, the fire chief shall immediately notify the widow or widower or domestic partner of the member, in writing, by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, of the widow or widower's or domestic partner's possible eligibility for benefits under this chapter and the time restriction for filing a claim for the benefits.

(f) In the instance of a member who dies as a victim of homicide while still a member while not in the performance of his or her duty as a member, each and every benefit of this section shall be available to the widow, dependent children and/or family members, as aforementioned, commencing from the date of the homicide.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1904, ch. 1161, § 7; G.L. 1909, ch. 363, § 29; G.L. 1923, ch. 416, § 25; P.L. 1927, ch. 997, § 1; P.L. 1929, ch. 1328, § 1; P.L. 1930, ch. 1563, § 1; P.L. 1935, ch. 2203, § 1; P.L. 1936, ch. 2397, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 351, § 6; P.L. 1941, ch. 1044, § 1; P.L. 1944, ch. 1466, § 1; P.L. 1948, ch. 2013, § 2; P.L. 1956, ch. 3849, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 45-19-12; P.L. 1959, ch. 146, § 1; P.L. 1960, ch. 32, § 1; P.L. 1961, ch. 86, § 2; P.L. 1961, ch. 155, § 2; P.L. 1966, ch. 144, § 1; P.L. 1968, ch. 8, § 1; P.L. 1972, ch. 212, § 1; P.L. 1974, ch. 186, § 1; P.L. 1976, ch. 321, § 1; P.L. 1978, ch. 397, § 1; P.L. 1979, ch. 324, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 315, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 256, § 1; P.L. 1984, ch. 333, § 1; P.L. 1985, ch. 289, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 528, § 1; P.L. 1988, ch. 578, § 1; P.L. 1990, ch. 89, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 510, § 15; P.L. 2016, ch. 519, § 1.)