Families of law enforcement lost to COVID-19 can now receive compensation
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) -Texas families who lost a law enforcement agent to covid-19 are now entitled to thousands in compensation, This comes after Gregg Abbott signed SB22 making covid-19 a presumptive line of duty death.
Until recently, covid-19 was not considered a work hazard and families were denied relief.
This time last year covid-19 cases were on the rise, especially in jails.
“They were in close quarters, they didn’t have any way to get out,” Rachel Vega said.
Abraham Vega was sick, his co-workers were sick and within a week he would die on a ventilator.
The last time we spoke, Rachel has spent the last year frustrated that she had to prove he caught the virus working in a jail.
“I haven’t even had a chance to grieve, because I’ve been having to go through this,” Vega said.
But she pushed through testifying in front of law makers
“I know what I’m fighting for. And I believe that we’re in the right,” Vega said.
According to CLEAT, an organization striving to improve law enforcement, Texas lost over 100 officers to covid 19.
Abraham is not included in this number, so it’s unclear how many other employees died from covid complications.
“Look at what has happened for all the other people across the state who didn’t have this, you just really set a precedence for everybody,” Vega said.
Mourning families will longer face a roadblock to state and national work man’s compensation.
In order to get national benefits, you must be approved for state benefits first and this was a roadblock for Rachel.
“So even though this happened a year ago, it’s not like you get a check the next day, you don’t get automatic benefits,” Vega said.
With the new bill, Vega’s family and dozens across the state felt relief.
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