Legislation sponsored by Senator Steve Oroho (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) to help families secure state and federal benefits after the death of a loved one was passed by the New Jersey Senate.
Sen. Steve Oroho’s bill helps families receive benefits after the death of a loved one. (SenateNJ.com)
“People work hard their whole lives in order to provide for their families, and that includes earning death benefits,” Senator Oroho said. “There are often plenty of regulations and other bureaucratic hurdles to clear before they can receive those benefits. Our goal is to make that a little easier, especially at a time when people are grieving.”
The legislation, S-2320, requires professionals certifying death to perform any testing and related actions necessary for survivors to claim state and federal benefits.
Senator Oroho helped craft the bill in response to a situation involving a Sussex County first responder last year. The individual had a heart attack in the line of duty and later died after being taken to the hospital. The family requested a toxicology test, which was a requirement to qualify for the federal government’s Public Safety Officers Benefits Act’s death benefit. At first, the hospital refused to conduct the test due to cost, putting the family’s benefit at risk since test must be administered within 48 hours of the time of death. However, they ultimately cooperated with the family’s request.
“This isn’t something a grieving family should have to fight for,” Senator Oroho said. “This needs to be normal operating procedure for all hospitals and medical personnel in New Jersey.”
Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris) is sponsor of the companion bill, A-3805, in the General Assembly.
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