When a work-related death occurs, workers’ compensation usually pays death benefits. A work-related death is often unexpected–and can leave the surviving members of a family in a financial struggle. Some families may even face bankruptcy or foreclosure. If you face this unfortunate event, you may be able to collect survivor benefits. These benefits are paid to family survivors who have lost the financial support of a deceased worker. Besides these benefits, the employer or the employer’s insurer must pay for burial expenses.
That is why you need to make sure you receive just compensation if a loved one has died from a work-related incident. Talk to a workers compensation attorney about your eligibility and the process. You might be eligible for survivor benefits if you were partly or completely financially dependent on a deceased employee before his or her death.
In this type of scenario, surviving members or eligible applicants may include the following:
- Children of the deceased, including stepchildren or adopted children
- The spouse of the deceased
- Parents and siblings, including the deceased’s in-laws
- Aunts or uncles
- Nephews or nephews
Eligibility Requirements for Total Dependents
According to California law, certain members of a household are automatically regarded as total dependents of the deceased employee. They must meet one of the following criteria to receive survivor benefits:
- Be a child of the deceased who is under 18 years old
- Be an adult child who is unable to earn an income because of a physical or mental limitation
- Be a surviving spouse who earned under $30,000 or less during the 12 months before the worker’s death
Rules Concerning Partial Dependents
If you were a family or household member who earned more than $30,000, you would need to show that you were partially or totally dependent on the decedent to receive survivor benefits.
For instance, if you were an elderly mother of the deceased, and were living with him or her at the time of the injury, you may qualify. You need to prove that the decedent paid your living expenses before his or her work-related injury and death.
Currently, survivor benefits for individuals who were total dependents of a deceased employee are $250,000 for one dependent; $290,000 for two dependents; and $320,000 for three or more dependents. The amount that is issued is divided if there are two or more dependents in a household.
You can also receive a death benefit if you relied partly on the deceased for support. However, to do so, only one total dependent must be filing a claim. If there are no total dependents, any partial dependents can split eight times the amount of the yearly support formerly provided by the decedent. This amount cannot exceed $250,000.
If one total dependent files a claim, each partial dependent receives four times the annual support previously provided by the deceased worker. A cap is placed on the amount of $290,000.
San Diego Lawyer For Death Benefits
If your loved one died because of a work-related injury, you need to know your rights. Contact our workers compensation law firm for further details about the claim’s process. Take the time to contact a lawyer for death benefits now. Simply fill out your name and contact information, and give us the details today.