The Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) confirmed that funds from the $850 million in Byrne Justice Assistance Grants can be used for "hazard pay" as well as personal protective equipment (PPE), according to Jim Curran of Karoub Associates. The BJA also shared important information about disability and death benefits related to contracting COVID-19 for officers and their survivors.

Public Safety Officers who can prove they were exposed to COVID-19 while working and contracted the virus because of that exposure may be eligible for disability benefits, and if they die because of COVID-19, their survivors may be eligible for death benefits.

Under the Public Safety Officers' Benefits (PSOB) Act and its implementing regulations, conditions caused by infectious diseases, viruses, and bacteria may be found to be an injury sustained in the line of duty.

To establish eligibility for benefits for a public safety officer’s death or disability due to COVID-19, the PSOB Act and regulations require evidence that it is more likely than not the disease resulted from the officer’s exposure to the disease or the virus that causes the disease, SARS-CoV-2, while performing a line of duty activity or action.

For more details on qualifications, please click here to read the Bureau of Justice Assistance letter.