Text: S.1208 — 116th Congress (2019-2020)All Information (Except Text)

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Engrossed in Senate (05/16/2019)

 
[Congressional Bills 116th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[S. 1208 Engrossed in Senate (ES)]

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116th CONGRESS
  1st Session
                                S. 1208

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT


 
 To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 with 
 respect to payments to certain public safety officers who have become 
   permanently and totally disabled as a result of personal injuries 
         sustained in the line of duty, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Protecting America's First 
Responders Act''.

SEC. 2. PAYMENT OF DEATH AND DISABILITY BENEFITS UNDER THE PUBLIC 
              SAFETY OFFICERS' DEATH BENEFITS PROGRAM.

    Section 1201 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10281) is amended--
            (1) in subsection (b), by striking the period at the end 
        and inserting the following: ``, unless the claim under this 
        subsection has been pending for more than 1 year, in which case 
        the amount payable shall be the amount that would be payable if 
        the catastrophic injury occurred on the date on which the 
        Bureau makes a final determination that the public safety 
        officer is entitled to a benefit payment under this 
        subsection.'';
            (2) in subsection (c), by striking ``$3,000'' and inserting 
        ``$6,000, adjusted in accordance with subsection (h),'';
            (3) in subsection (h), by inserting ``and the level of the 
        interim benefit payable immediately before such October 1 under 
        subsection (c)'' after ``subsection (a)'';
            (4) by striking subsection (i) and inserting the following:
    ``(i) The amount payable under subsection (a), with respect to the 
death of a public safety officer, shall be the greater of--
            ``(1) the amount payable under that subsection as of the 
        date of death of the public safety officer; or
            ``(2) the amount that would be payable under that 
        subsection if the death of the public safety officer occurred 
        on the date on which the Bureau makes a final determination 
        that the public safety officer is entitled to a benefit payment 
        under that subsection.''; and
            (5) in subsection (m), by inserting ``, (b),'' after 
        ``subsection (a)''.

SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS FOR THE PURPOSES OF THE PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS' 
              DEATH BENEFITS PROGRAM.

    Section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10284) is amended--
            (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:
            ``(1) `catastrophic injury' means an injury, the direct and 
        proximate consequences of which--
                    ``(A) permanently prevent an individual from 
                performing any gainful work; or
                    ``(B) cause an individual to become--
                            ``(i) paraplegic;
                            ``(ii) quadriplegic; or
                            ``(iii) blind;'';
            (2) in paragraph (3), in the matter preceding subparagraph 
        (A), by striking ``at the time of the public safety officer's 
        fatal or catastrophic injury'' and inserting ``as of the date 
        of the public safety officer's death from a fatal injury or the 
        date of determination of the public safety officer's disability 
        from a catastrophic injury'';
            (3) in paragraph (4), by inserting ``, including an 
        individual who, in the capacity of the individual as such a 
        member, engages in scene security or traffic management as the 
        primary or only duty of the individual during emergency 
        response'' before the semicolon;
            (4) by redesignating paragraphs (5) through (9) as 
        paragraphs (6) through (10), respectively; and
            (5) by inserting after paragraph (4) the following:
            ``(5) `gainful work'--
                    ``(A) means any activity usually performed for pay 
                or profit, regardless of whether a profit is realized; 
                and
                    ``(B) does not include work performed in a 
                situation in which, after an individual sustains an 
                injury--
                            ``(i) the individual--
                                    ``(I) re-enters the workforce; and
                                    ``(II) leaves the workforce after 
                                less than 90 days because of the 
                                inability of the individual to overcome 
                                the injury;
                            ``(ii) because of the injury--
                                    ``(I) the individual is permitted, 
                                in carrying out work, to--
                                            ``(aa) perform at a lower 
                                        standard of productivity or 
                                        efficiency than other similarly 
                                        situated employees;
                                            ``(bb) work irregular 
                                        hours; or
                                            ``(cc) take frequent rest 
                                        periods; or
                                    ``(II) the individual is only able 
                                to work within a framework of specially 
                                arranged circumstances, such as a 
                                circumstance in which 1 or more other 
                                individuals are required to assist the 
                                individual in preparing for work or 
                                traveling to and from work;
                            ``(iii)(I) the individual practices a hobby 
                        usually performed for pay or profit, regardless 
                        of whether a profit is realized; and
                            ``(II) the primary intent of the individual 
                        in practicing the hobby described in subclause 
                        (I)--
                                    ``(aa) is physical, mental, or 
                                emotional rehabilitation of the 
                                individual from the injury; and
                                    ``(bb) is not realization of 
                                profit; or
                            ``(iv) the individual is given the 
                        opportunity to work--
                                    ``(I) despite the injury of the 
                                individual; and
                                    ``(II) on the basis of--
                                            ``(aa) a family 
                                        relationship of the individual;
                                            ``(bb) a past association 
                                        of the individual with the 
                                        employer giving the individual 
                                        the opportunity to work; or
                                            ``(cc) any other altruistic 
                                        reason;''.

SEC. 4. RETROACTIVE APPLICABILITY.

    (a) Definitions.--For the purposes of this section--
            (1) the term ``covered beneficiary'' means an individual 
        who--
                    (A) is, or was, a child or spouse of a covered 
                individual described in paragraph (3)(B); and
                    (B) would have been eligible for educational 
                assistance under subpart 2 of part L of title I of the 
                Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 
                U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) if the amendments made by section 
                3 of this Act had been in effect on the date on which 
                the determination described in paragraph (3)(B)(i) of 
                this subsection was made;
            (2) the term ``covered claimant'' means an individual who 
        is a claimant on the estate of a deceased covered individual--
                    (A) described in paragraph (3)(B); and
                    (B) who died on or before the date of enactment of 
                this Act;
            (3) the term ``covered individual'' means--
                    (A) a beneficiary of a benefit under the Public 
                Safety Officers' Death Benefit Program that was paid--
                            (i) with respect to a death or disability 
                        of a public safety officer sustained as the 
                        direct or proximate result of a personal injury 
                        sustained in the line of duty; and
                            (ii) during the covered period; or
                    (B) a public safety officer who--
                            (i) was determined during the covered 
                        period to be ineligible for a benefit payment 
                        under section 1201(b) of title I of the Omnibus 
                        Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 
                        U.S.C. 10281(b)); and
                            (ii) would have been eligible for a benefit 
                        payment under subpart L of that title due to 
                        the disability of the public safety officer if 
                        the amendments made by section 3 had been in 
                        effect on the date on which the determination 
                        described in clause (i) was made;
            (4) the term ``covered period'' means the period--
                    (A) beginning on the date of enactment of title 
                XIII of the Crime Control Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-
                647; 104 Stat. 4834); and
                    (B) ending on the day before the date of enactment 
                of the Protecting America's First Responders Act;
            (5) the term ``public safety officer'' has the meaning 
        given the term in section 1204 of title I of the Omnibus Crime 
        Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10284); and
            (6) the term ``Public Safety Officers' Death Benefit 
        Program'' means the program established under part L of title I 
        of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (34 
        U.S.C. 10281 et seq.).
    (b) Applicability.--The amendments made by sections 2 and 3 shall 
apply to a death or disability of a public safety officer sustained as 
the direct or proximate result of a personal injury sustained in the 
line of duty--
            (1) subject to subsection (c), during the covered period; 
        or
            (2) on or after the date of enactment of this Act.
    (c) Payment.--
            (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), upon application 
        of a covered individual, covered beneficiary, or covered 
        claimant, the Bureau of Justice Assistance shall make a lump 
        sum payment to the covered individual, covered beneficiary, or 
        covered claimant in the amount equal to the difference, if any, 
        between--
                    (A) in the case of a covered individual--
                            (i) the amount of the total benefit payment 
                        the covered individual would have received 
                        under the Public Safety Officers' Death Benefit 
                        Program as of the date of the lump sum payment, 
                        if the amendments made by sections 2 and 3 had 
                        been in effect on the date on which the covered 
                        individual--
                                    (I) received the final benefit 
                                payment under the Public Safety 
                                Officers' Death Benefit Program; or
                                    (II) was determined to be 
                                ineligible for a benefit payment under 
                                section 1201(b) of title I of the 
                                Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets 
                                Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10281(b)); and
                            (ii) the amount of the total benefit 
                        payment the covered individual received under 
                        the Public Safety Officers' Death Benefit 
                        Program before the date of enactment of this 
                        Act;
                    (B) in the case of a covered beneficiary, the 
                amount of the total benefit payment the covered 
                beneficiary would have received under subpart 2 of part 
                L of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
                Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10301 et seq.) if the 
                amendments made by section 3 of this Act had been in 
                effect on the date on which the determination described 
                in subsection (a)(3)(B)(i) of this section was made; 
                and
                    (C) in the case of a covered claimant, the amount 
                of the total benefit payment the covered individual on 
                whose estate the covered claimant is a claimant would 
                have received under the Public Safety Officers' Death 
                Benefit Program as of the date of the lump sum payment, 
                if the amendments made by sections 2 and 3 had been in 
                effect on the date on which the determination described 
                in subsection (a)(3)(B)(i) of this section was made.
            (2) Application.--A covered individual, covered 
        beneficiary, or covered claimant desiring a lump sum payment 
        under paragraph (1) shall apply to the Bureau of Justice 
        Assistance for such lump sum payment not later than 3 years 
        after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 5. DUE DILIGENCE IN PAYING BENEFIT CLAIMS UNDER THE PUBLIC SAFETY 
              OFFICERS' DEATH BENEFITS PROGRAM.

    Section 1206(b) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10288(b)) is amended by striking ``the 
Bureau may not'' and all that follows and inserting the following: 
``the Bureau--
            ``(1) shall use all available investigative tools, 
        including subpoenas, to--
                    ``(A) expedite the processing of the benefit claim; 
                and
                    ``(B) obtain necessary information or documentation 
                from third parties, including public agencies; and
            ``(2) may not abandon the benefit claim unless the Bureau 
        has used the investigative tools available to the Bureau to 
        obtain the necessary information or documentation, including 
        subpoenas.''.

SEC. 6. EDUCATIONAL ASSISTANCE TO DEPENDENTS OF PUBLIC SAFETY OFFICERS 
              KILLED OR DISABLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY.

    Section 1216(b) of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10306(b)) is amended, in the first 
sentence, by striking ``may'' and inserting ``shall''.

SEC. 7. COLLECTION OF DATA ON KILLED OR DISABLED LAW ENFORCEMENT 
              OFFICERS.

    Section 534(a) of title 28, United States Code, is amended--
            (1) in paragraph (3), by striking ``and'' at the end;
            (2) in paragraph (4), by striking the period at the end and 
        inserting ``; and''; and
            (3) by adding at the end the following:
            ``(5) operate a central clearinghouse for statistics on law 
        enforcement officers under the Uniform Crime Reporting Program, 
        including data on law enforcement officers who, while 
        performing their duties, were--
                    ``(A) feloniously killed;
                    ``(B) accidentally killed;
                    ``(C) feloniously assaulted; or
                    ``(D) severely and permanently disabled.''.

SEC. 8. GAO REPORT ON MEDICAL COSTS.

    (a) Definition.--In this section, the term ``disabled officer'' 
means a public safety officer to whom a benefit is payable under 
subpart 1 of part L of title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe 
Streets Act of 1968 (34 U.S.C. 10281 et seq.) based on the permanent 
and total disability of the officer, as described in section 1201(b) of 
that subpart (34 U.S.C. 10281(b)).
    (b) Report.--Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of 
this Act, the Comptroller General of the United States shall submit to 
the Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate and the Committee on the 
Judiciary of the House of Representatives a report that estimates the 
average medical costs incurred by a disabled officer over the lifetime 
of the officer after sustaining the injury that caused the disability.

            Passed the Senate May 16, 2019.

            Attest:

                                                             Secretary.
116th CONGRESS

  1st Session

                                S. 1208

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 AN ACT

 To amend the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 with 
 respect to payments to certain public safety officers who have become 
   permanently and totally disabled as a result of personal injuries 
         sustained in the line of duty, and for other purposes.

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