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Disabling injuries, in addition to the resulting forced retirement, can put police officers and their families in great financial need. No central government agency is in place to help disabled retired police officers, and few federal grants exist to provide assistance. Only two current grants are specified as such; however, a bill has been introduced in Congress that would provide funding to help disabled officers get free counseling.
Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Program
An amendment to the Public Safety Officers’ Benefits Act of 1976, which was written to provide death benefits to the eligible survivors of federal, state and local public safety officers, includes the same benefit for a public safety officer who has been “permanently and totally disabled as the direct result of a catastrophic personal injury sustained in the line of duty.”
Public Safety Officers' Benefits Program Bureau of Justice Assistance 810 7th Street NW, Washington, DC 20531 (888) 744-6513 www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/psob/psob_main.html
Public Safety Officers' Educational Assistance
This program provides financial assistance for higher education to the spouses and children of public safety officers killed in line of duty; it also makes assistance available to spouses and children of public safety officers “permanently and totally disabled by catastrophic injuries sustained in the line of duty.”
Public Safety Officers' Educational Assistance Program Benefits Office Bureau of Justice Assistance 810 7th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20531 (888) 744-6513 www.ojp.usdoj.gov/BJA/grant/psob/psob_education.html
Counseling Grant Legislation
In the first session of the 105th Congress, Ohio Democratic Representative James Traficant introduced a bill that would allow grant funding to establish free counseling programs for disabled and retired police officers. The bill was referred to a subcommittee on crime in 1997; this subcommittee took no action on the bill, thereby preventing it from advancing at that time. No further information regarding this legislation is available.
Some federal funding, such as the Pell Grant, is offered to all eligible U.S. citizens. Visit www.grants.gov to find and apply for all currently available federal grants. Additional grants and assistance opportunities are available through state and local levels of government, as well as through various law enforcement organizations.
Based in Fairland, Ind., Kelley Walker Perry has been writing professionally since 1999. Her articles have appeared in “The Shelbyville News” and “The Daily Journal” newspapers, and in “At the Center” magazine. Walker Perry is a Hoosier State Press Association award winner for Best Profile Feature. Her short story, “Lake Effect,” placed 18th in the Lorian Hemingway Short Story Competition in 2007.
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