Death Benefits in Workers’ Compensation Claims
When the worst possible outcome in a workplace accident occurs, workers’ compensation law provides certain death benefits to surviving immediate family members and dependents. If your loved one has died from a work-related injury, our attorneys can help you seek the financial assistance you need.
Free consultations with a workers’ compensation expert are available by calling us today at 888-517-9888.
Death Benefits After a Fatal Workplace Accident
Workers’ compensation insurance provides financial assistance, including reasonable burial expenses in the amount of $10,000. to immediate family members and dependents after a fatal injury in the workplace. The amount of the assistance will depend on the number of dependents the deceased worker had at the time of the accident and whether or not those dependents are totally or partially dependent. Children under the age of 18, certain disabled adult children, and surviving spouses who earned $30,000 or less over the previous 12 months are automatically considered total dependents. Other eligible dependents include:
- Adopted children
- Aunts and Uncles
- Nieces and Nephews
Surviving dependents will need to prove they were reliant on the deceased worker for financial support in order to receive death benefits.
Benefits are paid at the same weekly amount as total temporary disability benefits: 2/3 of average weekly wages, but with a minimum benefit amount of $224 per week. After the maximum benefit level has been reached, payments will stop except in certain circumstances. Payments will continue in excess of the maximum benefit for totally dependent minors until the youngest minor’s 18th birthday. Totally dependent disabled minors will continue to receive benefits for life.
Benefit levels for surviving dependents for injuries that occurred in 2013 or later have been:
|One total dependent||$250,000|
|Two total dependents||$290,000, split evenly|
|Three or more total dependents||$320,000, split evenly|
|One total dependent and 1 or more partial dependents||Total dependent receives $250,000; partial dependent(s) receives four times annual support, not to exceed $290,000|
|One or more partial dependents||Eight times annual support, but not to exceed $250,000, split in proportion to the level of dependency|
Annual support is considered to be the amount of money that was used to support the dependent on a yearly basis.
The Timeline to Claim Death Benefits
There are deadlines which must be met in order to obtain workers’ compensation death benefits. If the date of death is within one year of the date of injury, proceedings to claim benefits must occur within one year from the date of death. If the date of death is more than one year after the date of injury, proceedings to claim benefits must occur before one year from the date of last furnishing of any benefits or one year from the date of death. Death benefits cannot be claimed after 240 weeks from the date of injury has passed.
You Don’t Have to Face this Crisis Alone
We understand how stressful it can be after the passing of a loved one. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth can help you and your family throughout this trying time. Our legal team will ensure that all of your rights under workers’ compensation law are protected.