Children of slain NYPD officer struggle to access mother’s pension

The children of an NYPD officer who was killed in the line of duty in the Bronx say they are struggling financially because of a loophole with their mother's pension.

News 12 Staff

Jun 8, 2022, 9:19 PM

Updated 736 days ago

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The children of an NYPD officer who was killed in the line of duty in the Bronx say they are struggling financially because of a loophole with their mother's pension.
NYPD Detective Miosotis Familia was shot and killed in Fordham on July 5, 2017.
Genesis Villella says it feels like yesterday that she lost her mother, who was also her best friend and hero.
"She patrolled the streets of New York, protecting these communities thinking that the city was going to take care of her family if anything were to happen to her,” Villella says.
However, Villella says that wasn't the case after her mother died. At age 20, Villella dropped out of school to become the sole caretaker to her siblings, 12-year-old twins Peter and Delilah Vega.
Ever since, Villella says she's struggled to support her family financially because she's unable to fully access her mother's pension benefits. She says the laws don't take into consideration children of single parents who are killed.
“Spouses and parents of fallen officers receive their fallen officers' pension forever without restrictions, and the children like me have to jump through hoops,” Villella says.
Through a loophole, children of fallen officers can only get pension payouts until age 23. That was when Villella received a letter on her birthday saying hers was ending.
The twins, who are now almost 18 years old and preparing for college, have benefits for about another five years with a number of court and banking hurdles to jump through along the way.
Villella says she just wants to be able to pay for tuition and whatever the twins need to be happy.
“Going through the worst thing…I need to be able to give my brother and sister what they need,” she says.
If people want to help, Villella recommends reaching out to New York state senators and members of the New York State Assembly. She says that the only way to fix this is through legislation.
The Police Benevolent Association told News 12 that the city's obligation to fallen heroes has no expiration date and that the NYPD and elected officials need to work together to make sure families have the support they need.


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