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What To Know About Death Benefits For Workers

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When a loved one passes away because of a workplace injury, some loved ones may be entitled to death benefits. Just as workers' compensation insurance pays the medical bills and a partial salary of those hurt while working, that same insurance carrier also pays survivor's benefits. To learn more, read on.

What to Know About Who Is Entitled to Benefits

When a family member dies, many loved ones feel the loss. Unfortunately, death benefits are paid only to those in a certain class. You must have been financially dependent on the deceased to qualify for financial compensation. In most cases, the following loved ones may be eligible:

  • Spouse – the salary of the spouse, if pertinent, may reduce the amount of the death benefits
  • Children under the age of 18
  • Children who are mentally or physically disabled
  • Children who are between the ages 18-25 and enrolled full time in secondary education

What to Know About Workplace Injuries

It is not necessary for the deceased worker to be receiving workers' compensation benefits at the time of the death. As long as the worker would have qualified for the benefits, the family can get death benefits. In most cases, the death or the injury that led to the death must have occurred during work or when performing job-related tasks.

No matter where the death occurred, workers' compensation benefits are available if the circumstances are work-related. For example, if your loved one was involved in a car accident on the way home from a business conference, it would probably be covered. This benefit covers not just accidents, but occupational illness too. For example, black lung disease or asbestos poisoning is covered. Additionally, if your loved one passed away due to a worsening of a preexisting condition, it may be a covered illness.

What to Know About the Benefits

The payment qualified loved ones receive depends on the previous salary. Just as workers' comp usually pays about 66.6 percent, so do death benefits. If your loved one was earning about $50,000 a year, you might be entitled to approximately $33,000 dollars in a lump sum payment. It should be noted that the total amount of the payment is divided between all eligible family members. Since the exact computation varies by state, speak to a workers' comp attorney to learn more. Additionally, the family can expect to receive:

  • Payment of the deceased medical bills
  • Payment for burial expenses

Dealing with the insurance company during this sensitive time can be difficult. If you are having problems with your death benefits, contact workers' comp law firm, such as Gilbert, Blaszcyk & Milburn LLP.