The Charles County Length of Service Award Program (LOSAP) was established in 1973 to encourage participation in the Charles County Volunteer Fire and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system.
The program is administered by the County Commissioners of Charles County. Funding for the program is derived from one cent of the annual Fire-EMS tax. This amount is entrusted to an investment firm to ensure its growth and provide sufficient funding for future recipients and is managed by the Charles County LOSAP Board, appointed by the County Commissioners.
Any qualified member of a Charles County volunteer fire, dive rescue or EMS department who has performed active fire, dive rescue and/or EMS duties in Charles County after December 31, 1973, is eligible.
The following types of service may be used to qualify a Charles County volunteer for LOSAP benefits:
Those who were members before July 1, 1984 and served in the Armed Forces of the United States shall receive credit at a rate of five points for each month served. (Maximum 50 points per year and a maximum of four years creditable service may be acquired in this manner.) After July 1, 1984, credit shall be given only to active volunteer members who enlist or are conscripted into the Armed Forces of the United States. New volunteer members with previous military service shall not receive credit for such service.
In the event that sufficient records are not available to establish a member’s volunteer service prior to January 1,1974, the certification may be made by a department after a thorough investigation based on all available information, including the personal knowledge and belief of the Board of Directors of the individual’s department.
Your service is compiled and certified by your Board of Directors to the Executive Committee of the Charles County Volunteer Firemen’s Association, Inc. The Executive Committee reviews the list from each company and certifies its accuracy to the Board of Fire & Rescue Commissioners. After the Board of Fire & Rescue Commissioners approves the certified list and forwards a copy to each fire, dive rescue and/or EMS department no later than April 15th, each company must post the list in a conspicuous place within the fire, dive rescue and/or EMS building for a period of not less than 30 days.
If your name does not appear on the certified list or you are denied credit for service prior to January 1, 1974, you have the right to appeal in writing to the Board of Fire and Rescue Commissioners or you may request a hearing.
Only the military service discussed previously and volunteer fire, dive rescue or EMS service in Charles County may be used to establish your entitlement to Charles County LOSAP benefits.
A “qualified volunteer” is:
There are five types of benefits available to you in this Program:
You must be at least 60 years old and you must have accumulated at least 50 points per year for no less than 25 years. Payments will start on the first day of the first month following eligibility
You are qualified if you are an active volunteer and become disabled during the course of service as a volunteer firefighter, dive rescue or EMS provider while actively engaged in providing such services, and
1. You are then entitled to receive the basic benefits as described elsewhere in this brochure and any other benefits, regardless of age or Length of Service. Payments will start on the first day of the first month following the establishment of the permanency of the disability.
2. You are a qualified volunteer who has completed a minimum of 25 years of certified active volunteer service with any Charles County volunteer fire, dive rescue or volunteer EMS company, or combination thereof and become permanently and totally disabled for any reason, and
You are then entitled to receive the benefits earned for your total
years of service, regardless of age. These benefits shall begin in the
month following certification of disability.
You are qualified if:
1. You are an active volunteer firefighter, dive rescue or EMS provider who has at least two years or more of qualifying service in the five preceding years, and
You are entitled to a monthly benefit based on the number of your years of certified service. Payments will start on the first day of the first month following eligibility.
2. Effective July 1, 1999, you are a member of a Charles County volunteer fire, dive rescue or EMS department who has performed active fire and/or EMS duties in Charles County, and
If a qualified volunteer dies while receiving benefits:
If a qualified volunteer dies prior to receiving any LOSAP benefits:
Yes. When a qualified volunteer dies, a death benefit of $5000 shall be paid to the volunteer’s spouse or estate.
When an unqualified volunteer is killed in the line of duty during the course of service as a member of a fire, rescue dive or emergency medical service, or specialized rescue unit or dies having completed at least one (1) year of length of service award program qualifying service and is carried on current membership rosters and does not qualify for death benefits as provided in the paragraph above, a death benefit of $5000 shall be paid to the unqualified volunteer’s spouse or estate.
An approved application for benefits, with your company seal, must be submitted to the Department of Fiscal Services, Charles County Government, P.O. Box 2150, La Plata, Maryland, 20646.
If you are a qualified volunteer you may receive a minimum benefit of $250.00 per month for life, plus an additional $10.00 per year of credited service over 25 years.
If you qualify for the reduced benefit due to attainment of age 70, your benefit will be calculated by multiplying your total number of creditable years by $10.00.
If you qualify for a reduced benefit due to the election of an early receipt of benefits, your benefit will be equal to 75% of the benefit you would have received at the age of 60 years. Also, your credit for additional years of service shall equal 75% of the benefit awarded to a member who begins benefits at the age of 60 years.
LOSAP benefits are not taxable by the State of Maryland, but are taxable by the U.S. Government, at this time.