Lawmakers To Call For Expanding Line-Of-Duty Death Benefits To Cover COVID-19

Steve Burns
March 31, 2020 - 6:06 pm
NYPD officer

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — There is a growing movement among lawmakers to recognize coronavirus deaths among essential city workers as line-of-duty deaths.

“Anyone who is deemed an essential worker that performing a function that is required right now, they would be covered,” says City Councilmember Joe Borelli.

He is calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio to work with pension boards to see that any coronavirus-related death among the city or state workforce is treated as a line-of-duty death.

Not only is it a symbolic gesture, it also has very real consequences for family members, explains WCBS 880’s Steve Burns.

“This is critical to make sure they get the maximum death benefit that would be allotted to their family,” Borelli said.

It comes as the national death toll from coronavirus surpasses the number of deaths during the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

“It's a very tangible number,” he explains.

According to Gov. Cuomo, about one-eighth of the NYPD force is out sick.

Meanwhile, over 580 MTA workers have tested positive for the virus.

New York State has reported over 75,000 cases with over 1,550 deaths on Tuesday. The number is expected to grow as the apex is still expected in about two weeks.