Fire Fighters Association of Missouri

COVID-19 and First Responders

As we all know, COVID-19 has changed the landscape of our lives. Disruptions to what we know as “normal” continue. COVID-19 has also created challenges for us as we serve our communities. Thankfully, President Trump and Governor Parsons each signed into law, legislation that provides protections to our First Responders. These presumptive laws help make First Responders eligible for benefits, should they contract COVID-19. Below, you will find a “cheat sheet” that gives a very basic overview of the presumptive legislation and the protections provided.

We would like to remind every Public Safety Officer, should you contract COVID-19, PLEASE file a workers compensation claim, regardless of your current need for care. No one knows what effect the COVID virus may have on your health, in the years going forward. You should secure your rights afforded under the presumptions, to protect yourself down the road. We have seen some reluctance of Work Comp carriers in accepting COVID-19 claims. If you face this situation, please refer your employer and/or Work Comp carrier to Governor Parsons Emergency Orders 20-02 and 20-04. You can also reference: https://labor.mo.gov/sites/labor/files/8_CSR_50-5.005_Emergency_Final.pdf.

If you know of a Public Safety Officer who contracted and died from COVID-19, please be sure to reach out to us.

COVID Presumptions

Federal PSOB Line of Duty Death Benefits

  • Must be a public safety officer, as defined by the Federal Public Safety Officer Benefit program
  • Must have been engaged in Line of Duty Action or Activity between 1/1/2020 – 12/31/2021
  • Line of Duty Action or Activity must have occurred within the 45 day period from the last duty day
  • Evidence must indicate that death was due to COVID-19 or complications from COVID-19. Evidence-based off of death certificate. Medical records can also be utilized, but ONLY if the death certificate does not state COVID-19 as a primary or secondary cause of death.

It is presumed to have occurred in the line of duty unless competent medical evidence proves otherwise

Note: initial qualification requires ONLY the above criteria to be met. Contact tracing and/or other methods of validation are not initially required to make a Federal application.

State of Missouri

Governor Executive Order 20-02 and 20-04 creates presumptions for Public Safety Officers.

The Emergency Order creates presumption that First Responders infected by or quarantined due to COVID-19 are deemed to have contracted a contagious or communicable occupational disease arising out of and in the course of their employment.

Presumption shall include situations where First Responder is quarantined at direction of employer due to suspected Covid-19 exposure, or the display of any COVID-19 symptoms, or receives a presumptive COVID-19 test, or receives COVID-19 diagnosis by physician or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.

  • Must be First Responder, defined as law enforcement officer, firefighter, or EMT as defined in Section 287.243.
  • Coverage period of April 22, 2020 – February 1, 2021, unless extended by additional or extension of the Emergency Order.
  • First Responder is not entitled to the presumption if subsequent medical determination establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the First Responder did not actually have COVID-19, or contracted or was quarantined for COVID-19 resulting from exposure that was not related to the First Responders employment.

Reference: 8_CSR_50-5.005

For any further information I would be happy to assist. You can contact me at brianZinanni@supportingheros.org or 314-973-0685.