Workers' compensation is not solely limited to the injured person in some cases. If your family member died as a result of his or her workplace injuries, you could potentially receive benefits. Before filing, here is what you need to know.
Who Is Eligible?
Eligibility for death benefits through workers' compensation are mostly limited to spouses and children. You could also potentially be eligible if you were dependent on the family member to provide you with financial support. Some states do have a requirement that the relationship be by blood or marriage. The laws detailing exactly what relationship is necessary can vary from state to state.
There are limitations on how long you have to file, so it is important that you file as soon as possible. If you wait to file beyond your state's statute of limitations, it is possible that your claim will be denied.
Can You Still Get Benefits If You Are Employed?
If you are a spouse or child who is employed, you can possibly still receive benefits. Regardless of income, as a spouse, most states will allow you to collect benefits. Minor children are always seen as dependents regardless of how much they earn. A child of the deceased over the age of 18 can possibly receive benefits if he or she is enrolled in school or has a mental or physical challenge that requires the additional support from benefits.
What Benefits Are Available?
In workers' compensation cases in which the injured dies, a family member can receive financial compensation. The family is also entitled to receive money towards burial expenses.
How much you could receive varies based on different factors. For instance, how much your family member received in wages plays a major role in what you can receive. There are also some states that place a limitation on how much can be paid out on the claim. A workers' compensation attorney, like one at Law Offices Jonathan Teperson, can help you determine what you can receive.
Another benefit is that workers' compensation can help cover the costs of any outstanding medical bills that were related to the injury that your family member had when he or she died.
Filing for workers' compensation death benefits can take time. By delaying your claim, you could be delaying the payment of your claim. Consult with a workers' compensation attorney to find out what steps you need to take and what possible benefits there are for you.