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Summary Plans FAQ - Survivors of Police and Firefighters

Whom do I notify in the event of a Plan member’s death?

You must contact the Police and Firefighters’ Retirement Relief Board (PFRRB) at 202-442-9622 and the DCRB Member Services Center at 202-343-3272 (or toll free at 1-866-456-3272).

Note:  If the Plan member is receiving or is eligible to receive a deferred retirement benefit, you only need to contact the DCRB Member Services Center.

How do I apply for a survivor benefit(s)?

To apply for a survivor benefit(s), you must contact the PFRRB.  The PFRRB will provide you with forms and application instructions.  You must provide the required documentation to the PFRRB.  Required documentation includes (but is not limited to) completed forms, proof of eligibility, and a certified copy of the Plan Member’s death certificate.  The PFRRB will determine if you are eligible to receive a regular survivor benefit.  In the event the PFRRB determines that a Plan Member’s death is service-related, it will also make an initial determination as to whether you are eligible to receive a lump-sum survivor benefit payment. 

Note:  If a Plan member who is receiving or is eligible to receive a deferred retirement benefit dies, his/her survivor(s) must contact the DCRB Member Services Center to apply for a survivor benefit.  The DCRB Member Services Center will provide you with application instructions and will determine if you are eligible to receive a regular survivor benefit.

How long will I receive a regular spouse‑survivor benefit?

If you are determined to be eligible to receive a regular spouse-survivor benefit, the benefit will continue for your lifetime unless you remarry prior to reaching age 60 (when the benefit is being paid to a surviving spouse) or age 55 (when the benefit is being paid to a former spouse who is party to a QDRO).

A regular spouse-survivor benefit may start again if your remarriage ends because of death, annulment, or divorce.

How long will I receive a regular child‑survivor benefit?

If you are determined to be eligible to receive a regular child-survivor benefit, the benefit will continue until you:

  • reach age 18 or older and is no longer a full-time student, or fail to submit the required Student Certification Form;
  • reach age 22;
  • marry; or,
  • die.

A regular child-survivor benefit that is paid to an unmarried child who is incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability will stop when he/she marries, recovers from the disability, or dies.

A regular child-survivor benefit may start again if his/her eligibility is reestablished.