When a worker is killed on the job, his or her family is usually entitled to workers' compensation death benefits. These benefits provide compensation for funeral expenses, medical expenses and other financial needs.
Death benefits may be paid to the person's spouse or other dependents as long as the employee died while performing a work-related task or from a work-related illness. There are limits to how much a family can receive.
For a funeral, those who received death benefits for deaths before Jan. 1, 2013 will be able to receive up to $5,000 for burial expenses. After that date, individuals are entitled to up to $10,000. The death benefit is also limited depending on the total number of dependents. For example, if there is only one dependent, he or she will receive no less than $224 weekly. This benefit can be paid for up to 240 weeks after the date of injury.
The total amount any single dependent can receive for anyone killed after Jan. 1, 2013 is $250,000. Two are limited to $290,000, and three are limited to $320,000. Burial expenses are in addition to this amount.
It's important to know your rights as someone who could be entitled to compensation after a loved one's passing. You are left in a difficult situation; you may not only be feeling the loss of someone you care about but also the loss of financial support that came with that individual's job. Our website has more on what you can expect if you need to obtain death benefits after your loved one's death.