When a Worker Dies: Death Benefits for Spouses and Children

Every day, people receive on-the-job injuries. Unfortunately, some injured workers may pass away, leaving behind grieving loved ones. Workers who don’t die from their injuries typically are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. But what about the workers who die every year from work-related injuries or illnesses? Their surviving loved ones may look to workers’ comp benefits that provide death benefits for spouses and children.

Burial Benefit

The survivor or the person who paid for the funeral receives the burial benefit for a worker who dies of a work-related injury:

  • $4,200 if the injuries were suffered before February 1, 2006
  • $8,000 if the injuries were suffered after February 1, 2006.

In addition to this one-time payment, surviving spouses and children may be eligible for additional compensation.

For Surviving Family Members

Generally, a survivors’ benefits is:

  • Two-thirds (66 2/3%) of the employee’s gross average weekly wage earned during the 52 weeks before suffering the on-the-job injury.
  • Minimum and maximum limits may apply to survivor’s death benefit.

Survivor benefits are paid out based on the following priorities:

  • The surviving spouse, if the worker was married.
  • Children under age 18.
  • Parents, if totally dependent on the deceased worker.

If the deceased did not have a spouse, eligible children, or totally dependent parents, then the death benefit may be paid to an individual who was at least 50% dependent on the worker.

Remarriage of Spouse

Generally, benefits continue if the surviving spouse has children eligible to receive benefits.

However, if the surviving spouse does not have any eligible children, he or she will receive a final lump sum payment. Typically, that payment will equal two years of compensation, but all other future benefits are cancelled.

You Need an Attorney with Workers’ Comp Experience. We Can Help.

The loss of a spouse is devastating. Workers’ compensation death benefits can provide financial support for surviving spouses and children. The attorneys at Osvaldo Rodriguez, P.C., are here to help with your workers’ comp claims. Schedule a free initial consultation with Osvaldo Rodriguez, a lawyer with over 20 years experience representing people like you. Just call us at 708-716-3441 or fill out the Contact form on our website.

Mr. Rodriguez is fluent in both Spanish and English.

We represent clients throughout the state of Illinois, including Cook, DuPage, Will, and Kane Counties.

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