CHAPTER 504

FORMERLY SENATE SUBSTITUTE NO. I

TO SENATE BILL NO. 681

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT

NOS. 1 & 2

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18, DELAWARE CODE, BY ADDING A NEW CHAPTER 66, INSURING CERTAIN POLICEMEN, FIREMEN, NATIONAL GUARDSMEN AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS AGAINST DEATH IN THE LINE OF DUTY; PROVIDING FOR PAYMENT TO DESIGNATED BENEFICIARIES AND FOR PAYMENT OF TUITION FOR THEIR CHILDREN; AND BY REPEALING SECTION 186, TITLE 20, DELAWARE CODE.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Amend Title 18, Delaware Code, by adding thereto a new Chapter 66 to read as follows:

CHAPTER 66. LINE-OF-DUTY

DEATH BENEFITS

§ 6601. Definitions

As used in this Chapter:

(a) "Covered person" is defined as a member of one of the following:

(i) enrolled firemen in good standing in a Delaware Volunteer Fire Company or assigned to a municipal fire company.

() National Guardsmen on State duty pursuant to subchapter V of Title 20; or

(i) Policemen of any jurisdiction of this State or its subdivisions; or

(ii) Correctional Officers employed by the State Department of Health and Social Services; or

(v) State merit system employees who qualify for hazard pay under the State merit system regulations. Nos. 5.1041 and

5.1042; or

(vi) Drivers and attendants of ambulances owned or operated by the American Legion or Veterans of Foreign Wars for the benefit of the public; provided however, that such ambulance drivers and attendants have been certified by the State.

(b) "Death in the line of duty" shall mean any death of a covered person under this Chapter, arising out of and in the course of that person's assigned duty, including all normal and special assignments as ordered by his or her superiors or assignments undertaken while acting as a law enforcement officer under rules, directions, or regulations, promulgated by the appropriate employing authority, within or outside of normal duty hours.

(c) Death in the line of duty shall not include:

(i) death from natural causes; or

() accidental death during travel to and from work, except in emergencies and in cases where a covered person is called upon to perform a duty in the course of such travel; or

(i) death as a result of disobedience to or exceeding of orders or instructions from superiors; or

(ii) suicide.

(d) "Public college or university" shall include only the University of Delaware, Delaware State College, and Delaware Technical and Community College.

(e) "Dependent Children" shall include step-children, adopted children and children to whom the deceased stood in loco parentis, if members of the decedent's household at the time of his death.

§ 6602. Payment for beneficiaries; tuition payments

Upon certification by the Insurance Commissioner that a claim under this Chapter has been approved, the State Treasurer shall:

(a) pay to the beneficiary or beneficiaries as designated or determined pursuant to Section 6603 hereof of every covered person killed in the line of duty, an amount totaling $50,000, payable in annual installments with the maximum amount payable in any one calendar year being $10,000. Installments shall terminate with the expiration of the beneficiary's eligibility.

(b) pay , for no more than four (4) years, directly to the institution involved, the amount of the tuition of each child of such covered person killed in the line of duty so long as such child is attending a public college or university in Delaware. The term "tuition" means any amount required for the enrollment or attendance of a student. Such term does not include any amount paid directly or indirectly for meals, lodging, transportation, extracurricular activities, supplies, equipment, clothing, or personal or family expenses.

§ 6603. Designation or determination of beneficiary

Each person covered under this Chapter shall submit to his employing State, County or Municipal Agency or Volunteer Fire Department, the name of the beneficiary or beneficiaries and alternate beneficiaries he wishes to receive the insurance payment provided for herein. Beneficiary designation will be submitted to the Insurance Commissioner with the submission of any claim. He may designate that any payment shall be divided among two or more beneficiaries in any proportion. Only the spouse, dependent children, or dependent parents of a covered person shall be eligible

beneficiaries under this Chapter. Should a covered person not designate a beneficiary, or should designated beneficiaries be dead or ineligible, eligible alternate beneficiaries shall take hereunder in the order indicated by the covered person. If no eligible person is named as either primary or alternate beneficiary, the following in order of position of eligibility shall receive the payment:

(1) spouse, if alive; if not,

(2) living dependent children — to divide the sum equally; if none such children are living,

(3) dependent parents, each parent to take 50% if both are living.

Insurance Commissioner to Superior Court, which shall have final appellate jurisdiction under this Chapter. Such appeal shall be an appeal on the record. Superior Court may, by rule, set forth the procedure for processing appeals under this Chapter.

§ 6607. Payments to be diminished by amounts of other benefits

Should any covered person, killed in the line of duty who has designated no beneficiary, have no living spouse, dependent children, or dependent parents, there shall be no payment in his case.

§ 6604. Reporting of Agencies

Every county and local police agency, volunteer and municipal fire department, the Department of Health and Social Services, the National Guard, the Department of Public Safety and every organization providing voluntary ambulance service for the public shall, by the date of enactment of this Chapter, record the names of all members of their organizations who are currently eligible for coverage under this Chapter. These organizations shall make appropriate changes to their records when any person not previously eligible becomes eligible, and when one previously eligible becomes ineligible. The records will be subject to audit by the Insurance Commissioner.

§ 6605. Administration of Fund. Adjudication of Claims

(a) The Insurance Commissioner shall administer the fund created under this Chapter and shall receive claims against the fund. He shall determine the validity of all such claims and determine whether a death resulting in any such claim was in the line of duty under terms set forth in Section 6601 of this Chapter. In making such determinations, he may seek the guidance of the Attorney General. The commissioner shall hold a hearing on every claim, at which hearing the claimant may be represented by counsel. The Commissioner shall, at the hearing, receive evidence, make findings, and render a decision. He shall have the power to subpoena witnesses and records and administer oaths and shall keep a written or taped record of all testimony given before him. He shall state, in writing, his findings and the reasons for his decision.

(b) The Commissioner may issue regulations governing the submission, processing, and adjudication of claims, including regulations governing hearings before him.

§ 6606. Appeals

Any aggrieved claimant may appeal a decision of the

If any beneficiary, under this Chapter, is entitled to receive, as a result of the same death in the line of duty which gave rise to his claim under this Chapter, any payment of State, federal, county or municipal funds or insurance proceeds from a policy paid entirely by the State, Federal, County or Municipal Government, in the form of a death benefit other than that provided for under this Chapter, his payment pursuant to this Chapter shall be reduced by the amount of such other payment to which he is entitled. In no case shall the State be liable in total death benefits as a result of a single death for more than $50,000 to the beneficiaries of any covered person, exclusive of tuition payments provided hereunder.

§ 6608. Source of payments under this Chapter

Payments made pursuant to this Chapter shall be made from the State Self Insurance Fund, as provided in Chapter 65 of this Title. The General Assembly shall, when necessary, from time to time, provide for the adequate funding to the said Self Insurance Fund to cover claims under this Chapter.

§ 6609. Payments made under this Chapter to a beneficiary

shall not be subject to Delaware Income Taxes or Delaware Estate Taxes.

Section 2. Section 186, Title 20, Delaware Code, is hereby repealed.

Section 3. This Act shall take effect July 1, 1972. Approved July 10, 1972.