Nebraska Revised Statute 85-2304

85-2304

85-2304.

In the Line of Duty Dependent Education Benefit; established; eligibility; waiver of tuition and fees; application; notice; determination; effect.

(1) The In the Line of Duty Dependent Education Benefit is established for children of law enforcement officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty. In order for a child to be eligible for the benefit, the law enforcement officer or firefighter must have incurred the fatal injury on or after April 23, 2009.

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section, a death that occurs as the direct and proximate result of a preexisting physical condition, disease, or illness shall be excluded from eligibility under this section unless the aggravation of such condition, disease, or illness caused by being in the line of duty was a direct and proximate cause of death.

(3) Any child who is the child of a law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty as provided in subsection (1) of this section or of a firefighter killed in the line of duty as provided in such subsection shall be eligible for the education benefit if the child is twenty-five years of age or younger. An eligible child shall meet all admission requirements of the state university, state college, or community college to which he or she is applying.

(4) The education benefit shall be provided only for full-time undergraduate students who are pursuing studies leading to a degree from an associate degree program or a baccalaureate degree program. The eligible child may receive the education benefit for up to five years if he or she otherwise continues to be eligible for participation. All education benefits received under the In the Line of Duty Dependent Education Act shall cease when the eligible child reaches twenty-six years of age.

(5) A child becomes eligible for the education benefit after he or she has applied for federal financial aid grants and state scholarships and grants to cover tuition and fees. The child must provide a record of application for such financial aid to the state university, state college, or community college to which he or she is applying.

(6) The state university, state college, or community college shall waive tuition and fees remaining due after subtracting awarded federal financial aid grants and state scholarships and grants for an eligible child during the time the child is enrolled as a full-time student. To remain eligible, the child must comply with all requirements of the institution for continued attendance and award of an associate degree or a baccalaureate degree.

(7) An application for an education benefit shall include a certified copy of the eligible child's birth certificate or applicable adoption record and verification of the death of the law enforcement officer or firefighter who was the child's parent.

(8) Verification of the death of the law enforcement officer or firefighter shall be made by obtaining a certificate of eligibility from the following sources: (a) Certificates of eligibility for the children of law enforcement officers shall be obtained from the Superintendent of Law Enforcement and Public Safety; (b) certificates of eligibility for the children of firefighters, except as provided in subdivision (c) of this subsection, shall be obtained from the State Fire Marshal; and (c) certificates of eligibility for the children of members of emergency medical services ambulance squads that are not associated with a paid or volunteer fire department shall be obtained from the Department of Health and Human Services.

(9) Within forty-five days after receipt of a completed application, the state university, state college, or community college shall send written notice of the applicant's eligibility or ineligibility for the education benefit. If the child is determined not to be eligible for the benefit, the notice shall include the reason or reasons for such determination and an indication that an appeal of the determination may be made pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act.

(10) Upon a determination of eligibility for the child to obtain the education benefit, the state university, state college, or community college is prohibited from charging the child, the child's surviving parent, or the child's guardian any tuition or fees as long as the child remains eligible.

Cross References

  • Administrative Procedure Act, see section 84-920.