AG Fitch: First responders who contract COVID-19 eligible for assistance

Mississippi’s Attorney General has announced a rule change that will assist first responders who contract COVID-19.

Attorney General Lynn Fitch has filed a temporary emergency rule change to allow first responders to make claims for financial assistance with the Law Enforcement Officers and Fire Fighters Disability Benefits Trust Fund when they contract COVID-19 on duty.

“Our first responders stand on the front lines in this pandemic, ready to protect us and our families,” said General Fitch. “We must do everything we can to support them. By instituting this temporary rule change, we can give them and their families peace of mind when their sacrifices in the field during this crisis impact their ability to work.”

The Trust Fund, established by Miss. Code Ann. §45-2-21, is administered by the Office of the Attorney General. It pays disability benefits to career and volunteer firefighters and law enforcement officers when they sustain injuries in the line of duty and cannot work. Under this emergency rule change, a first responder who contracts COVID-19 on duty may be able to access this assistance, as well.  To view the temporary rule change, click here.

The rule change includes two new forms, one from a doctor verifying positive COVID-19 test results and one from a supervisor verifying that the first responder was exposed in the line of duty. If approved, the first responder may be eligible for a disability payment equal to 34% of the covered individual’s work wages. The rule change will be in effect until September 4, 2020, and may be extended if the circumstances continue to warrant assistance for this exposure.

To find out more or to file a claim, contact General Fitch’s Office at (601) 359-6766 or LEOFFFund@ago.ms.gov.