Claiming Workers Compensation Death Benefits in New Jersey
This year, three workers died in an Amazon facility here in New Jersey, leading to a rush of OSHA investigations. Some places are inherently dangerous. Every year, 70 to 80 people die on the job in New Jersey.
While these numbers may seem low, they are devastating to the families who are left behind, especially if the deceased worker was the primary breadwinner for the family. The surviving, actively married spouse of a worker who died on the job may thus claim benefits, as may a dependent child who lived in the worker’s household, or full-time dependent children under the age of 23. Severely mentally or physically disabled children may also apply.
What do death benefits cover?
These benefits cover the following:
- Weekly payments of 50% to 70% of the deceased worker’s wages for 450 weeks, to a maximum of $969. The percentage depends on the number of dependants.
- Funeral expenses of up to $3,500.
- All medical bills incurred from the accident, as, sadly, some workers receive medical care and then die anyway.
While most people cannot solely survive on these benefits they can go a long way towards keeping a family afloat while they seek their own employment or make their own arrangement. If your spouse had a life insurance policy you’ll generally receive funds from that policy as well.
How to Claim Death Benefits
You should work with your spouse’s former employer to file the appropriate forms with the Workers Compensation insurance carrier. The insurance company will decide whether to accept or reject the claim.
Someone died, you need the money, and the job was to blame. You might think that it would be an open and shut case and that the insurance company will or should simply cut the check. Sometimes, they do.
Yet insurance companies don’t really want to pay for benefits. They do whatever they can do to deny benefits. They might claim, for example, that the death was not job related, or that your spouse or parent wasn’t really on the job when the death took place. They may even try to claim your spouse or parent was an independent contractor.
You may even find out that your spouse’s employer was violating the law, and wasn’t paying their workers compensation premiums.
When that happens, you’ll need to call a workers compensation attorney to begin representing your interests in the case. You do not want to represent yourself through appeal hearings, nor do you want to try to negotiate a settlement on your own.
We understand money will never bring your spouse back. We also understand that you may need that money to survive. We work closely with you to ensure your settlement is as high as possible, and fight hard to ensure that you get the payments you need to survive. Contact our office to get help today.
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