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Emergency Responder Death Benefits

Application Procedure for the Estate of an Emergency Responder
Killed in the Line of Duty

Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-51-210 authorizes an annuity of two hundred fifty thousand dollars ($250,000.00), in annual installments of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000.00) for five (5) years, to the estate of any emergency responder killed in the line of duty. To be eligible for compensation, each of the following criteria must be met: 

  1. The deceased person must have been an emergency responder pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-51-210(a)(1), which means a firefighter, volunteer rescue squad worker or law enforcement officer; 
  2. The deceased emergency responder must have been killed in the line of duty, which is defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-51-210(a)(4) as "in the course of employment and in the actual discharge of the duties of the position."; 
  3. The deceased emergency responder must have been current in any required training and physical exams at the time the death occurred; and
  4.  The application must be filed no later than three (3) years after the date of death. 

To be eligible to receive compensation conferred by this statute, the executor, an applicant who is an administrator or other appropriate representative of the estate of an emergency responder who was killed in the line of duty must apply to the Department of Commerce and Insurance. 

An application for compensation shall include all of the following documentation

  1. A cover letter from the applicant requesting the payment; 
  2. Proof that the applicant is authorized to act on behalf of the deceased emergency responder’s estate (e.g., letters testamentary or letters of administration) from a probate court;
  3. A notarized and signed AFFIDAVIT from the deceased emergency responder’s employer or volunteer agency containing the following:
      (a) Confirmation of the deceased emergency responder’s employment status as an emergency responder;
      (b) Name of the deceased emergency responder’s law enforcement agency, fire department or agency or rescue squad unit;
      (c) Date of death; and
      (d) An affidavit from the deceased emergency responder’s employer or volunteer agency that the deceased emergency responder’s death occurred “in the line of duty” as defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 7-51-210(a)(3).
  4. A true copy of the deceased emergency responder’s death certificate, or in the Commissioner’s or designee’s discretion, a copy of a true copy.

Please submit the application, affidavit, and required documentation to:

Department of Commerce & Insurance
Chief Counsel for Fire Prevention
Davy Crockett Building, 12th Floor
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, Tennessee 37243 

Questions concerning applications or payments should be directed to request.post@tn.gov.