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First Responder Exemptions
Total and Permanent Disability Exemption for First Responder and Surviving Spouse Carryover- Ad Valorem Taxes Waived
This exemption is available to Florida First Responders who have a total and permanent disability as a result of an injury or injuries sustained in the line of duty while serving in Florida or during an operation in another state or country authorized by Florida or a political subdivision of the state of Florida. (Section 196.102, F.S.)
First responder is defined as:
- law enforcement or correctional officer,
- emergency medical technician or paramedic (full-time or part-time employee, or unpaid volunteer)
Total and permanent disability is defined as an impairment of the mind and body that renders a first responder unable to engage in any substantial gainful occupation and that is reasonably certain to continue throughout their life.
1. File an application with our office. (You must be a permanent resident of this state on January 1st of the year you claim the exemption and qualify for, or, have been approved for a homestead exemption.)
2. Submit completed Employer Certification of Injury with description of first responder's injury or injuries sustained while on active duty. Additionally, the original injury report must be submitted.
3. Submit the following:
- For quadriplegic, paraplegic, hemiplegic, or those confined to a wheelchair for mobility purposes: Two Physician Certificates of Total and Permanent Disability (DR-416). For legally blind: Two Optometrists Certificates of Total and Permanent Disability (DR-416B). Forms must be completed by professionally licensed Florida physicians.
- For all other total and permanent disabilities: One (1) First Responder Physician Certificate of Total and Permanent Disability and a Social Security Administration Award Letter (within 3 months of issuance) - OR - Two (2) First Responder Physician Certificate of Total and Permanent Disability from two professionally unrelated physicians.
This tax exemption carries over to the benefit of the surviving spouse as long as the surviving spouse holds the legal or beneficial title to the homestead and permanently resides thereon, and, does not remarry. If the surviving spouse sells the property, an exemption not to exceed the amount granted under the most recent ad valorem tax roll may be transferred to the new residence if it is used as the surviving spouse’s primary residence and he or she does not remarry.
Surviving Spouse of First Responder or Military Veteran- Ad Valorem Taxes Waived
This exemption is also called the "Fallen Heroes Family Tax Relief Act" and is available to the surviving spouse of a military veteran who died from service-connected causes while on active duty as a member of the U.S. armed forces, and, to a surviving spouse of a first responder (law enforcement officer, correctional officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician or paramedic employed by the state or any political subdivision of the state) who died in the line of duty. Amendment 9 under Art. V, § 6(f), Fla. Const., applies to the 2013 tax roll and is not retroactive to prior years.
The surviving spouse must qualify for homestead and must have been a permanent resident of Florida on January 1 of the year in which the death occurred. The surviving spouse must provide a letter from the Department of Veteran's Affairs or the first responder's employer certifying that the person died in the line of duty.
If the spouse remarries the exemption is removed.