If your spouse or parent dies on the job, you will likely be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits.
You may also be eligible for benefits if the worker had a previous job-related illness or injury and was receiving benefits only to die from the condition. You’d have to file a C-62 form with the Workers’ Compensation Board, and the deceased’s treating physician must file a C-64.
To receive the benefits, you must file a death claim.
Here’s how those benefits work in the state of New York.
Weekly Cash Benefits
The surviving spouse and/or minor children are entitled to weekly cash benefits to replace some of the spouse or parent’s lost income.
The amount for a spouse is equal to ⅔ of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage, calculated back to 52 weeks before the accident. The income is capped by New York’s weekly maximum for the date of the death.
The amount for a minor child is equal to ½ of the deceased worker’s average weekly wage.
These benefits will pay out until the surviving spouse remarries or until the youngest child reaches the age of 18, whichever comes first.
If there is no surviving spouse or minor children who are entitled to the weekly cash benefit, the surviving parents or the estate of the deceased worker are usually entitled to a payment of $50,000.
For New York City workers, death benefits for funeral expenses may be compensated up to a cap of $12,500.
How Life Insurance Payouts Impact Death Benefits
The Workers’ Compensation Board will not reduce or deny death benefits to a surviving spouse or minor child if they receive a life insurance payout.
The Workers’ Compensation Board understands that life insurance is often used to provide financial support to the deceased workers’ families, and it doesn’t want to discourage workers from taking out those policies.
There are sometimes exceptions to the rule. If you’ve been denied workers’ compensation death benefits due to the existence of a life insurance policy, it’s a good idea to speak to a New York workers’ compensation firm.
Get Help Today
If you are the spouse of an individual who died on the job or the guardian of a minor child whose parent died on the job, don’t be afraid to contact our law firm for help.
While we’d all love it if workers’ compensation insurance or employers consistently did the right thing, we all know that’s the case. Some companies will look for any reason to deny or delay the claim.