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DOJ Press Release letterhead

Friday, May 12, 2006
Office of Justice Programs
Contact: Sheila Jerusalem
Phone: (202) 307-0703
TTY: (202) 514-1888


            WASHINGTON – The Department of Justice today announced its newest technology resource for public safety agencies nationwide. In concurrence with National Peace Officers Week activities, the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Program, is now accessible through a new online system that allows agencies to complete and submit forms required for death benefits electronically. The PSOB Program, administered by the Justice Department's Office of Justice Programs (OJP), provides death, disability and educational benefits for eligible public safety officers and their families.

            "It is fitting that during this time of recognition of the contributions made by peace officers nationwide that we improve access to the benefits program that serves peace officers and their families," said Regina B. Schofield, Assistant Attorney General for OJP. "The online access to our benefits programs offers a small measure of support to families and agencies of peace officers during a critical time by providing easier access when submitting claims for benefits."

            Available today, the PSOB Web site located at, allows individuals and agencies to complete forms required for claims and submit other required documents electronically. User-friendly by design, and available in Spanish, the online system not only saves agency time when preparing and submitting claims, but also supports survivors by expediting the collection of critical claim information on behalf of their fallen loved ones. The streamlined process provides decreased reporting time for public safety agencies submitting information on officer deaths, while the electronic system captures critical claim information that enables faster processing. Users of the system may submit responses to questions concerning a claim and electronically submit official documents, such as toxicology reports, death certificates and marriage certificates.

            Between 2000 and 2004 the PSOB Program provided more than $426 million to survivors of 1,774 public safety officers, awarded $8.6 million to officers who were permanently disabled, and gave more than $4.4 million in educational benefits to more than 1,000 children and spouses of officers killed in the line of duty.

            Enacted in 1976, the PSOB Program provides death and disability payments in the form of a one-time financial payment to the eligible survivors of public safety officers whose deaths or disability are the direct and proximate result of a traumatic injury sustained in the line of duty. As of Oct. 1, 2005, the benefit amount is $283,385.

            The PSOB Program includes the Public Safety Officers' Educational Assistance (PSOEA) Act. PSOEA provides financial assistance for higher education for the spouses and children of federal, state, and local public safety officers who have been permanently disabled or fallen in the line of duty.

            The Office of Justice Programs (OJP) provides federal leadership in developing the nation's capacity to prevent and control crime, administer justice, and assist victims. OJP is headed by an Assistant Attorney General and comprises five component bureaus and an office: the Bureau of Justice Assistance; the Bureau of Justice Statistics; the National Institute of Justice; the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; and the Office for Victims of Crime, as well as the Community Capacity Development Office, which incorporates the Weed and Seed strategy and OJP's American Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Desk. More information can be found at