Death Benefits

What does Death Benefits mean?

Workers’ compensation death benefits are offered to certain surviving family members if a worker dies from a compensable injury. Under work comp laws the surviving spouse and/or minor children and other dependents, as defined by law, are entitled to weekly cash benefits. Death benefits are established under each states’ work comp laws. For instance, in the state of New York the work comp law allows the surviving family members of the deceased worker to receive an amount “which is equal to two-thirds of the deceased worker's average weekly wage for the year before the accident. The weekly compensation may not exceed the weekly maximum, despite the number of dependents.” If there are no surviving family members including children, spouse, grandchildren, grandparents, brothers or sisters, parents or grandparents the insurer will pay $50,000 to the deceased worker’s estate. Funeral expenses are also paid up to $6,000 in Metropolitan New York counties; up to $5,000 in all other counties. Type and amount of workers' compensation death benefits As mentioned above, death benefits are offered in all states to the beneficiaries of the deceased worker. The means used to determine who qualifies varies as well as the amount offered to cover funeral and burial expenses. States also may provide compensation for lost wages which are generally calculated as a percentage of the deceased worker’s weekly wage at the time of death. The amount of time the death benefits are offered also varies by state. For instance, in some states the surviving spouse may get death benefits until they die; other states will provide benefits until they remarry or for a specific number of weeks after the worker’s death. Most states provide death benefits to the deceased children until they reach the age of majority, which can vary by state. Talk to a lawyer immediately if a close family member has died due to a work-related injury.

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