Weather Alerts 1 View »

'They won't break me': Fallen firefighter widow fights benefit denial

Kevin Keen

Juliann Ashcraft, widow of fallen hotshot firefighter, Andrew Ashcraft speaks to media.

'They won't break me': Fallen firefighter widow fights benefit denial

By Kevin Keen. CREATED Aug 7, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The widow of a fallen Yarnell Hill firefighters says she's being denied benefits her family deserves and earned.
 
Every hotshot family will receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in official survivor benefits. Only about a quarter of the families will get millions in lifetime salaries and health benefits.
 
Juliann Ashcraft argued she should the receive those maximum benefits.
 
The city of Prescott disagreed, stating her husband wasn't a permanent employee.
 
Ashcraft said he actually was and has the pay stubs to prove it.
 
“I have the truth on my side,” she told reporters. “I have what's morally right on my side. I have four kids that give me the courage to fight so they won't break me.”
 
Prescott officials said any claims they’re improperly withholding death benefits are false.
 
A state representative is exploring a change to Arizona law so all the hotshot families will receive full benefits paid for by the state.