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Does Workers’ Compensation Offer a Death Benefit for a Loved One Killed in a Work-Related Accident?

Understanding How a Death Benefit for a Loved One Killed in a Work-Related Accident Works in the Bronx, New York

QUESTION: Does workers’ compensation offer a death benefit for a loved one killed in a work-related accident?

ANSWER: Yes, workers’ compensation in New York offers a death benefit to the family of a worker killed due to a work-related injury or illness.  This death benefit is meant to help support a family financially from the loss of a loved one’s income support.  The amount of the benefit and who is entitled to the benefit depends on a variety of factors.  In addition, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney in Bronx, NY, should be consulted whenever a loved one is killed at work because there may be other claims that could further compensate a family outside of workers’ compensation laws.  This includes a third-party action that may compensate a family for pain and suffering – something that workers’ compensation does not pay a family for in a death benefit.

What is a Death Benefit Under New York Workers’ Compensation Law?

 The family of a worker who passed away from a work-related injury or a worker-related accident may file a claim for a death benefit.  This claim is filed with the workers’ compensation carrier for the deceased worker’s employer.  The claim is handled and administrated by the carrier as well as the New York Workers’ Compensation Board.  It is important to realize that all workers are covered by the death benefit which can be paid to a family, including individuals who may be undocumented or have a pending immigration application.

What do I Need to Apply for Death Benefits?

 A family member applying for death benefits from the loss of a loved one at work must file the following:

  • An affidavit for death benefits – filed by the surviving spouse or dependent, which asserts the claim and provides necessary information in a sworn document
  • Proof of death by a physician – this form is filed by the worker’s last treating physician, and sets forth a medical opinion that the deceased worker’s death was causally related to his or her employment
  • Proof of burial and funeral expenses by the undertaker – this is a form completed by the funeral home
  • Other forms and documentation as requested by the carrier or the Workers’ Compensation Board

What Benefits Am I Entitled to in a Death Benefits Claim in New York?

 Families who have lost a loved one in a work-related accident or due to a work-related illness may be entitled to death benefits.  The death benefits are based on a deceased loved one’s average weekly wages at the time of passing. Who is entitled to such death benefits depends on a variety of circumstances, but generally:

  • Spouse with no children – 66 2/3% of wages and upon remarriage, a lump sum payment of two years of benefits
  • Spouse with children – spouse receives 36 2/3% and the children receive 30% shared equally amongst them, with the spouse receiving a lump sum payment of two years of benefits upon remarriage (but the children will still receive benefits)
  • Children with no spouse – 66 2/3% of wages which is shared equally among the children

Other dependents may also be entitled to compensation through a death benefit claim in New York.  The amount of compensation depends on the type of dependent, with different allotments for different types of dependents.

Did You Lose a Loved One in a Work-Related Accident or Due to a Work-Related Illness? Call Our Bronx Workers’ Compensation Lawyers for Help with Your Death Benefit Claim

We hope this FAQ was helpful. We have more FAQ questions and answers available.

But if you still have questions about what is workers’ compensation in New York, call to schedule a FREE consultation with our experienced workers’ compensation lawyers in the Bronx to learn more about how we can help you.  You can reach O’Connor Law by dialing (914) 595-4502 or by sending us a private message through our “Contact Us” box available here.

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