Slain officer's family can expect over $720,000 in death benefits
FARGO -- More than $190,000 has been collected through fundraisers for the family of Jason Moszer, a Fargo police officer fatally shot last week. But it's not just these donations that will help his wife and two stepchildren. Moszer's family can ...
FARGO -- More than $190,000 has been collected through fundraisers for the family of Jason Moszer, a Fargo police officer fatally shot last week. But it's not just these donations that will help his wife and two stepchildren.
Moszer's family can expect to receive a number of death benefits -- totaling more than $720,000 -- from city, state and federal government programs, as well as law enforcement groups.
Grant Benjamin, president of the North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, said such benefits are meant to replace the wages that fallen officers could have earned over their careers had they survived. As a six-year veteran of the Fargo Police Department, Moszer's annual salary was between $50,000 and $65,000.
"Because of the officer losing his life, that family has lost that income," Benjamin said. "You've lost that earning power."
Moszer's family is expected to receive a $65,000 death benefit from the Police Department's pension plan, along with any contributions he made to the plan plus interest, according to city code.
North Dakota Workforce Safety & Insurance provides a death benefit to the family of a worker, like Moszer, who died in a work-related incident, said agency director Bryan Klipfel.
The benefit is a weekly payment to a spouse and children that's two-thirds of the worker's weekly wage. The payments, which are not taxed, continue until a cap of $300,000 is reached, Klipfel said.
WSI also provides a one-time payment of $2,500 to the worker's spouse and $800 for each dependent. The agency also covers any medical expenses preceding a worker's death, along with funeral costs up to $10,000.
At the federal level, the U.S. Department of Justice offers a one-time benefit of $339,881 to the family of a fallen police officer. There's also an education-assistance benefit of $1,021 per month for an officer's survivors, according to the Justice Department.
In North Dakota, an officer's survivors can receive free tuition at state colleges and universities. Moszer's wife and stepchildren are also eligible for $10,000 per year in scholarship money through WSI for five years, with a maximum of $50,000 per person.
Benjamin said Moszer's family will receive a $1,000 death benefit from the North Dakota Fraternal Order of Police, along with a $10,000 life insurance payment.
The North Dakota Peace Officers Association has given $500 to Moszer's family, said West Fargo Police Chief Mike Reitan, the group's president.
Moszer, 33, died Feb. 11 after being shot the night of Feb. 10 during a standoff in north Fargo.
Following his death, city officials created a fund for his family through Bell State Bank & Trust and the Impact Foundation. That fund had reached $146,990 as of Thursday, said Gregg Schildberger, a city spokesman.
Additionally, a GoFundMe account has so far collected $7,541, and a CrowdRise account has gathered $37,468.