ROCKFORD, Ill. – To ensure that those who die while serving their community are properly compensated, state Rep. Dave Vella, D-Rockford, helped pass legislation that would extend the deadline for compensation claims.
“While we can never truly compensate a family for the death of the loved one, the very least we can do is ensure that they can get what they are owed under the current law,” said Vella. “No one should be hung out to dry because they missed a deadline after a traumatic event, and this deadline extension gives families ample time to file a claim and get the compensation they are entitled to.”
Under the current law, claims for compensation for the death of someone in the line of duty must be made between 1 to 2 years after the incident. In order to ensure families of law enforcement officers, firemen, paramedics, civil defense workers, civil air patrol members, chaplains, armed forces members, or State employees that are killed in the line of duty have ample time to file a compensation claim, Vella voted in favor of Senate Bill 1650, which would extend the filing deadline to December 31, 2022 for all those who died between December 31, 2016 and January 1, 2021.
“Everyone should be able to receive compensation they are entitled to, especially when it is for something as serious as compensation for death of a loved one in the line of duty,” said Vella. “This measure is a commonsense way to show the families of those who put their lives on the line for their communities that we appreciate their sacrifice. I will continue to work to ensure that those who serve their communities and their families are treated fairly and with the respect they deserve.”