COVID-19 Accidental Death Benefits

Overview

COVID-19 Related Accidental Death Benefits
Chapter 89 of the Laws of 2020 provides death benefits to statutory beneficiaries of members whose death was a result of or was contributed to by COVID-19.

This Act adds Retirement and Social Security Law §§ 509-a, 607-i and Administrative Code of the City of New York § 13-149.1 by providing, subject to documentation requirements, an Accidental Death Benefit to the eligible beneficiaries of a member or a retiree who retired after March 1, 2020, where such member reported for work outside their home and contracted COVID-19 within 45 days after reporting for work, and whose death was caused by COVID-19 or where COVID-19 contributed to such member’s death. Amounts payable are reduced by payments of any ordinary death benefits or option benefit paid to another statutory beneficiary. This act is effective as of March 1, 2020. 

The deceased member or retiree must have contracted COVID-19 as confirmed by a positive laboratory test or as diagnosed before or after the member’s death by a licensed, certified, registered, or authorized physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant in good standing. The member or retiree must have died before December 31, 2020 and COVID-19 caused or contributed to such member’s death as documented on the member’s death certificate. In the alternative, a licensed, certified, or authorized physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant in good standing may certify within a reasonable degree of medical certainty that COVID-19 caused or contributed to the member’s death.

NYCERS is developing forms to enable beneficiaries to claim this benefit. If you have any questions, please contact NYCERS’ Call Center at (347) 643-3000.