According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 5,000 workers die on the job every year, leaving their survivors to carry on without them.
When your spouse dies on the job you, the surviving spouse, may be entitled to a workers compensation death benefit. As with workers compensation for surviving injured and disabled workers, the death benefit system exists in New Jersey to provide for families while protecting employers from the possibility of a personal injury lawsuit.
This means you may get some money to support your family while you adjust to the loss of your loved one.
Who is eligible for death benefits?
In general, you may only claim a death benefit if you are the surviving, actively married spouse of a worker who died on the job, or a dependant child who lived in the worker’s household at the time of death. Surviving children may also qualify as dependents if they are full-time students under the age of 23. Dependent children who are older may also qualify if they are severely mentally or physically disabled.
In some cases parents or siblings of the workers may make a claim if they can prove they were dependents, regardless of whether or not they were living in the worker’s home. An example may be a disabled brother or sister whom the worker was supporting in a home of their own.
How much are death benefits in New Jersey?
Death benefits include medical bills and funeral expenses up to $3500.
You may also receive a portion of the deceased worker’s wages for up to 450 weeks to a maximum weekly payment of $871.
The amount depends on the number of dependents. It’s 50% of the former wages for one dependent, 55% for 2, 60% for 3, and so on, to a maximum of 70% of the worker’s former wages.
If the dependents live in multiple households a judge will have to determine how those benefits are divided among the survivors.
While these benefits are unlikely to support you long-term they can help you keep your bills paid while you explore your options and find a new source of funds. You may also be able to reach for other sources of funding, such as your spouse’s life insurance policy.
Get the help you need today!
Unfortunately, while you might assume that death would be serious enough to prevent employers and insurance companies from fighting you on workers compensation death benefits, nothing could be further from the truth.
You may require the intervention of a qualified workers compensation attorney to get the benefits you’re entitled to. Reach out to Talone Law to get the help you need today.