A workplace accident or illness can have a devastating impact on an employee’s ability to work. Many people who get badly hurt or sick because of their job duties are able to make a workers’ compensation claim and receive medical coverage and disability benefits. Whether an injured worker can make a claim or not depends upon whether his employer has opted into workers’ compensation and on whether it can be demonstrated that the injuries or illness was work-related.
When a worker is receiving benefits due to a serious injury or illness and that worker passes away, surviving family members may be eligible to continue receiving workers’ comp benefits. Workers’ comp death benefits are available to ensure that widows, children and certain other dependents are able to survive financially after an employee loses his life due to his job. If someone you love has passed away while collecting workers’ comp benefits, you need to determine what your rights are and what you must do to receive any benefits you may be eligible for. A Houston workers’ comp lawyer at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. can provide assistance in making a benefits claim, so give us a call today for help.
What to do If Your Loved One Passed Away While Collecting Workers’ Comp Benefits
The first thing to do if your loved one passed away while collecting workers’ comp benefits is to determine if you are eligible to receive ongoing income through workers’ compensation. These benefits are available whenever a worker dies of a work-related illness or accident. The benefits may be paid to:
- A surviving spouse of the worker who was killed.
- A dependent child or dependent grandchild.
- Another dependent family member, including siblings, parents, or grandparents who were receiving financial support from the injured worker.
- Non-dependent parents of a worker who was killed, if that worker did not have an eligible surviving spouse or dependent family members.
Death benefits are equal to 75 percent of the average weekly wage the deceased was earning at the time of the accident or illness that led to his death, up to the state-established maximum benefits limit.
Benefits may be divided based on how many family members are dependent and based on the relationship of those family members to the deceased. Spouses can typically receive benefits for life, or until remarriage. Upon remarriage, a one-time lump sum payment of 104 weeks of benefits is paid and no more benefits are provided.
Children can receive benefits to age 18, or up to age 25 while attention school full time.
A Houston workers’ compensation attorney at Abbott and Associates, L.L.C. can provide you with assistance in completing all paperwork and can help you to determine what your options are if your loved one passed away while collecting workers’ comp benefits. Call today to learn more.