Can Your Family File a Worker’s Comp Claim After Your Death?
Today Your Legal Corner will discuss "workers' comp settlement after death."
Are you considered the multifaceted breadwinner of the family? We all recognize the type. He or she is the overachiever able to tackle the world and beyond; yet still manages not to miss a day's work in spite of exhaustion or illness. If this is indeed you, take some comfort in knowing that your dependents may be compensated in the event of your untimely demise, as long as it is materially related to your course of employment.
Eligibility for workers compensation dependency benefits
In fact, with most cases, benefits are payable to the dependents if the employee has suffered a job related illness or accident which has resulted in death as long as the other requirements are met as defined under the New Jersey Workers Compensation law.
New Jersey law defines dependents as the spouse, civil union partner or children under 18 years of age who were actually a part of the household at the time of the decedents’ death. For example, when a wife is not living with her husband, whether she receives and what type depends on whether she is dependent on the spouse or clearly independent while living in another household.
Further, in the event an injured employee without dependents subsequently dies during the pendency of a workers comp claim, an award may still be received by the deceased employee's estate for the time period from the date of injury until death.
Rate for workers compensation dependency benefits
Under New Jersey law, your dependents will be entitled to receive a percentage of your wages.
Dependent children will receive benefits till the age of 18, unless a full time student then the age is extended. If a child is disabled, benefits may also be available for an extended period of time. The spouse will receive benefits till he or she remarries. Medical bills and funeral expenses of the deceased employee will also be paid.
Important to note, similar to filing a workers compensation claim, dependency claims must be filed within two years after the date of accident or payment of compensation.
Additional information regarding workers’ compensation dependency benefits may be found on the State of New Jersey Department of Labor website. However, the only way to know for sure as to whether or not you are entitled to workers compensation dependency benefits as well as receive answers to all your legal questions is to consult with an experienced workers compensation attorney.
Till next week, God bless, keep smiling, when Your Legal Corner will provide information regarding "child labor laws and securing summer employment."
Victoria M. Dalton is an attorney with the law firm of Hoffman DiMuzio.
Please note that Your Legal Corner was created to provide educational articles about the law and is not legal advice.