Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
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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 wants you to know the following:
What Do Death Benefits Provide?Workers’ compensation pays death benefits to immediate family members that are 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 a maximum amount that is determined on an annual basis.
Other benefits include:
- Reimbursement of reasonable medical expenses
- Burial expenses up to $7,500.
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.
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 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.