If a member of your family died from a work-related injury or illness, then you may be wondering if you can collect benefits on their behalf.
According to worker compensation laws in California, workers compensation benefits may be made to family members who were totally or partially financially dependent on the worker who died.
Death benefits vary, but the amount may range from $250,000 for one dependent to $320,000 for three or more dependents. The amount depends on the number of total and/or partial dependents, and is paid in one lump sum.
The death benefits include reasonable burial expenses. For injuries that occurred before January 1, 2013, the amount cannot exceed $5,000. For injuries that occurred on or after January 1, 2013, the amount cannot exceed $10,000.
If there are minor children, then they may be entitled to a different death benefit paid out every week. This type of workers compensation benefit is payable until the children turn 18 years old. Minors who are disabled can receive benefits for life.
Some family members collect benefits to pay medical bills, legal bills, day-to-day living expenses, or to maintain the lifestyle they had before the death occurred.
Time Limits for Collecting Benefits
You have one year from death where death occurs within one year of date of injury to begin the proceedings for collecting death benefits. Or, you have one year from the date of last furnishing of any benefits or one year from death where death occurs more than one year from the date of injury. If more than 240 weeks have passed since the date of injury, then no death benefits may be collected.
If You Think You are Eligible for Workers Comp Death Benefits
The first step to collecting workers compensation benefits is to contact a worker compensation lawyer. Because the lawyer cannot represent both sides of the case, he or she will be dedicated to you. Your matter will be represented by a professional attorney who knows the ins and outs of workers comp laws.
If you do not know a workers compensation lawyer, you can get a referral to one through the Lawyer Referral and Information Service (LRIS) in San Diego. Call (619) 231-8585 to reach the referral staff, or contact them via online chat or online request form.
This message does not constitute legal advice and does not imply a legal working relationship. For legal advice, please consult an attorney.