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820 ILCS 315/3

    (820 ILCS 315/3) (from Ch. 48, par. 283)
    Sec. 3. Duty death benefit.
    (a) If a claim therefor is made within one year of the date of death of a law enforcement officer, civil defense worker, civil air patrol member, paramedic, fireman, chaplain, or State employee killed in the line of duty, or if a claim therefor is made within 2 years of the date of death of an Armed Forces member killed in the line of duty, compensation shall be paid to the person designated by the law enforcement officer, civil defense worker, civil air patrol member, paramedic, fireman, chaplain, State employee, or Armed Forces member. However, if the Armed Forces member was killed in the line of duty before October 18, 2004, the claim must be made within one year of October 18, 2004.
    (b) The amount of compensation, except for an Armed Forces member, shall be $10,000 if the death in the line of duty occurred prior to January 1, 1974; $20,000 if such death occurred after December 31, 1973 and before July 1, 1983; $50,000 if such death occurred on or after July 1, 1983 and before January 1, 1996; $100,000 if the death occurred on or after January 1, 1996 and before May 18, 2001; $118,000 if the death occurred on or after May 18, 2001 and before July 1, 2002; and $259,038 if the death occurred on or after July 1, 2002 and before January 1, 2003. For an Armed Forces member killed in the line of duty (i) at any time before January 1, 2005, the compensation is $259,038 plus amounts equal to the increases for 2003 and 2004 determined under subsection (c) and (ii) on or after January 1, 2005, the compensation is the amount determined under item (i) plus the applicable increases for 2005 and thereafter determined under subsection (c).
    (c) Except as provided in subsection (b), for deaths occurring on or after January 1, 2003, the death compensation rate for death in the line of duty occurring in a particular calendar year shall be the death compensation rate for death occurring in the previous calendar year (or in the case of deaths occurring in 2003, the rate in effect on December 31, 2002) increased by a percentage thereof equal to the percentage increase, if any, in the index known as the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: U.S. city average, unadjusted, for all items, as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the 12 months ending with the month of June of that previous calendar year.
    (d) If no beneficiary is designated or if no designated beneficiary survives at the death of the law enforcement officer, civil defense worker, civil air patrol member, paramedic, fireman, chaplain, or State employee killed in the line of duty, the compensation shall be paid in accordance with a legally binding will left by the law enforcement officer, civil defense worker, civil air patrol member, paramedic, fireman, chaplain, or State employee. If the law enforcement officer, civil defense worker, civil air patrol member, paramedic, fireman, chaplain, or State employee did not leave a legally binding will, the compensation shall be paid as follows:
        (1) when there is a surviving spouse, the entire sum
    
shall be paid to the spouse;
        (2) when there is no surviving spouse, but a
    
surviving descendant of the decedent, the entire sum shall be paid to the decedent's descendants per stirpes;
        (3) when there is neither a surviving spouse nor a
    
surviving descendant, the entire sum shall be paid to the parents of the decedent in equal parts, allowing to the surviving parent, if one is dead, the entire sum; and
        (4) when there is no surviving spouse, descendant or
    
parent of the decedent, but there are surviving brothers or sisters, or descendants of a brother or sister, who were receiving their principal support from the decedent at his death, the entire sum shall be paid, in equal parts, to the dependent brothers or sisters or dependent descendant of a brother or sister. Dependency shall be determined by the Court of Claims based upon the investigation and report of the Attorney General.
The changes made to this subsection (d) by this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly apply to any pending case as long as compensation has not been paid to any party before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly.
    (d-1) For purposes of subsection (d), in the case of a person killed in the line of duty who was born out of wedlock and was not an adoptive child at the time of the person's death, a person shall be deemed to be a parent of the person killed in the line of duty only if that person would be an eligible parent, as defined in Section 2-2 of the Probate Act of 1975, of the person killed in the line of duty. This subsection (d-1) applies to any pending claim if compensation was not paid to the claimant of the pending claim before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly.
    (d-2) If no beneficiary is designated or if no designated beneficiary survives at the death of the Armed Forces member killed in the line of duty, the compensation shall be paid in entirety according to the designation made on the most recent version of the Armed Forces member's Servicemembers' Group Life Insurance Election and Certificate ("SGLI").
    If no SGLI form exists at the time of the Armed Forces member's death, the compensation shall be paid in accordance with a legally binding will left by the Armed Forces member.
    If no SGLI form exists for the Armed Forces member and the Armed Forces member did not leave a legally binding will, the compensation shall be paid to the persons and in the priority as set forth in paragraphs (1) through (4) of subsection (d) of this Section.
    This subsection (d-2) applies to any pending case as long as compensation has not been paid to any party before the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General Assembly.
    (e) If there is no beneficiary designated or if no designated beneficiary survives at the death of the law enforcement officer, civil defense worker, civil air patrol member, paramedic, fireman, chaplain, State employee, or Armed Forces member killed in the line of duty and there is no other person or entity to whom compensation is payable under this Section, no compensation shall be payable under this Act.
    (f) No part of such compensation may be paid to any other person for any efforts in securing such compensation.
    (g) This amendatory Act of the 93rd General Assembly applies to claims made on or after October 18, 2004 with respect to an Armed Forces member killed in the line of duty.
    (h) In any case for which benefits have not been paid within 6 months of the claim being filed in accordance with this Section, which is pending as of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly, and in which there are 2 or more beneficiaries, at least one of whom would receive at least a portion of the total benefit regardless of the manner in which the Court of Claims resolves the claim, the Court shall direct the Comptroller to pay the minimum amount of money which the determinate beneficiary would receive together with all interest payment penalties which have accrued on that portion of the award being paid within 30 days of the effective date of this amendatory Act of the 96th General Assembly. For purposes of this subsection (h), "determinate beneficiary" means the beneficiary who would receive any portion of the total benefit claimed regardless of the manner in which the Court of Claims adjudicates the claim.
    (i) The Court of Claims shall ensure that all individuals who have filed an application to claim the duty death benefit for a deceased member of the Armed Forces pursuant to this Section or for a fireman pursuant to this Section, or their designated representative, shall have access, on a timely basis and in an efficient manner, to all information related to the court's consideration, processing, or adjudication of the claim, including, but not limited to, the following:
        (1) a reliable estimate of when the Court of Claims
    
will adjudicate the claim, or if the Court cannot estimate when it will adjudicate the claim, a full written explanation of the reasons for this inability; and
        (2) a reliable estimate, based upon consultation with
    
the Comptroller, of when the benefit will be paid to the claimant.
    (j) The Court of Claims shall send written notice to all claimants within 2 weeks of the initiation of a claim indicating whether or not the application is complete. For purposes of this subsection (j), an application is complete if a claimant has submitted to the Court of Claims all documents and information the Court requires for adjudicating and paying the benefit amount. For purposes of this subsection (j), a claim for the duty death benefit is initiated when a claimant submits any of the application materials required for adjudicating the claim to the Court of Claims. In the event a claimant's application is incomplete, the Court shall include in its written notice a list of the information or documents which the claimant must submit in order for the application to be complete. In no case may the Court of Claims deny a claim and subsequently re-adjudicate the same claim for the purpose of evading or reducing the interest penalty payment amount payable to any claimant.
(Source: P.A. 95-928, eff. 8-26-08; 96-539, eff. 1-1-10; 96-923, eff. 1-1-11.)