Dependents And Workers Compensation: What Happens During A Work-Related Death?

Workers compensation is, unfortunately, not just used for the living. There are times when an individual dies while on the job or as a direct result of a work-related injury or illness. When this happens, workers compensation is intended to provide compensation for the employee's dependents. But in order to handle this properly, the worker's family need to know who qualifies and for what.

Dependents Aren't Just Children

There are many people who may qualify as dependents for a worker. This includes their spouse, child, grandchild, or parents. It can also include parents-in-law, grandparents, brothers or sisters, uncles or aunts, nephews and nieces. In certain cases it can even include a brother or sister in law. This all comes down to how the family's financial structure is laid out. Some people may be supporting or partially supporting a large household.

Some Dependents Are Easier to Prove Than Others

Some dependents are considered to be "good faith" dependents. Spouses (or partners) and children are generally considered to have been dependents and will not need to prove their relationship to the worker. Other dependents will need to show their financial situation and the amount that the worker was expected to contribute to their household. Sometimes this may also include a "putative" spouse -- a spouse that is a spouse only through common law marriage. The more documentation a family has, the better. 

Qualifying for Workers Compensation

In general, most work-related deaths are going to be considered allowable for a workers compensation claim. Even a negligent employee can file for workers compensation successfully, as long as they were not grossly negligent, especially in a way that would have made the outcome of their actions apparent. Employees may also not qualify for workers compensation if they were doing something illegal at the time of their death or the injury that resulted in their death. Commonly, this can involve an act of violence (such as a fight with another employee) or the usage of illegal drugs.

A workers compensation claim is not the only thing that is available to survivors. Just like any other type of insurance, workers compensation claims have a maximum cap on their payout. But that doesn't mean that is all that the family is owed. If the family has medical debt and costs that go beyond the workers compensation allowances, they can also file a wrongful death suit. A workers compensation or personal injury attorney can help.

Visit a site like for more information.