Life can become debilitating when a family member passes away, especially if they were fatally injured due to working at their job. Fortunately, surviving family members can receive benefits from the workers’ compensation board.  Workers’ compensation death benefits can be paid to the survivors of a worker who dies from an occupational injury or illness. A dependent spouse, underage child or, in some cases, other relatives may be eligible to receive a portion of the income lost from their loved one’s death.

If you have lost a family member due to a work-related accident or illness, the Mann Law Firm can help you with the process of obtaining workers’ compensation death benefits from the state. We have been working for our clients for over 50 years and will fight for your rights to compensation.  Let us help you obtain your workers’ compensation death benefits. We will take the reins and file the necessary documents and make any important phone calls.  Call us today at (478) 742-3381 to make an appointment

What Do Death Benefits Provide?

Workers’ compensation pays death benefits to immediate family members, offering them support similar to the benefits provided to workers who suffer non-fatal injuries and illnesses.

These benefits include weekly income benefits that are equal to two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage at the time of the accident for 400 weeks or until the recipient is no longer eligible. The amount of the weekly benefits cannot exceed $575 per week for any accidents that occurred after July 1, 2016.

Other benefits include:

  • Reimbursement of reasonable medical expenses
  • Burial expenses up to $7,500.

Death benefits are paid directly to medical care and funeral services providers and to the deceased worker’s spouse and qualifying children or other relatives.

Who is Eligible to Receive Death Benefits?

Those eligible to receive death benefits include the worker’s surviving spouse as well as children who are:

  • Younger than age 18 or enrolled full-time in high school
  • Younger than age 22 and enrolled full-time and in good standing at a college, university or other post-secondary institution of higher learning
  • Older than age 18 and physically or mentally incapable of earning a livelihood.

Dependent children, including stepchildren, legally adopted children, posthumous children and acknowledged children born out of wedlock qualify for wrongful death case benefits as long as they meet the criteria above. Married children do not qualify for death benefits.

A surviving spouse receives weekly payments until age 65 or 400 weeks, whichever is longer. If the surviving spouse remarries or cohabitates with a partner, his or her eligibility terminates.

Also, if the husband and wife lived separately for 90 days immediately prior to the accident that resulted in the employee’s death, the spouse’s total dependence on the deceased (and qualification for a benefit) can be challenged.

If the deceased left behind no fully dependent family members, workers’ compensation provides death benefits to family members who were partially dependent upon the deceased worker, such as parents or stepparents.

The amount of this benefit is calculated as the deceased’s weekly contribution for support, divided by the average weekly wage, and multiplied by the benefit payable to a person wholly dependent on the deceased.

How Do I Apply for Death Benefits?

Georgia law presumes that if a worker dies or is found in a dying condition at work, or in a place where he or she is supposed to be while working, then the worker died from an injury or disease arising out of and in the course of employment.

If an employee dies from an injury or illness that would have qualified for workers’ compensation, it is considered a “compensable” death. Surviving family members should thus be entitled to benefits.

A death at a workplace must be reported by the employer to its workers’ compensation insurer. The insurer must inform the Georgia Workers’ Compensation Board. The workplace injury or illness may already be the subject of a workers’ compensation claim that was filed before the employee’s death.

The insurer handling the deceased worker’s claim should contact the listed next of kin about processing a death benefits claim.

How Can a Lawyer Help Me Obtain Death Benefits?

A workers’ compensation attorney can help in many ways to protect a dependent’s rights after their loved one’s death due to a job-related injury or illness.  Some of the ways a Georgia workers’ compensation attorney can help you include:

  • Initially meeting with you to discuss your claim with the workers’ compensation board.
  • Assisting you with filling out the proper forms in the correct manner.  This will increase the chances of being paid out quicker.
  • Filing an appeal with the workers’ compensation board if your claim is being challenged.

Even in a straightforward death benefits claim, survivors may find that the employer or insurer disputes or acts slowly to process the claim. A lawyer can ensure that your claim is processed correctly and promptly. We can also represent you in a hearing if your claim is challenged.

Contact the Georgia Workers’ Death Benefits Attorney David Mann Today

The Mann Law Firm is available to provide professional and compassionate legal representation to you and your family in the aftermath of a loved one’s death.  We truly care about our clients and work hard to protect their rights to compensation. We have worked with many clients on the workers’ compensation process for over 50 years. So, give us a call today at (478) 742-3381  for a free consultation.

Attorney David Mann

Attorney David MannBefore leading his own firm, Mann served for several years as in-house defense counsel for a large insurance company, which gives him unique insight into how insurance companies work. He uses this critical knowledge as an advantage for his clients. He is a tough negotiator and litigator, and he is exceptionally strategic in building cases on behalf of personal injury victims.[ Attorney Bio ]

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