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California Workers’ Compensation Claims: How Death Benefits Work

When a person loses his or her life as a result of a workplace injury, there are benefits available to the survivors of the deceased worker. For the most part, death benefits will be provided contingent on amount of financial assistance the deceased offered the claimant and the degree of their relationship.

In California, death benefits will include the following:

  • Will be paid to those that qualify as a partial or a total dependent;
  • Will be paid based on the degree of relationship the deceased had with the claimant; and
  • Should be requested in a specific form and within a certain period of time.

Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits and Who Can Qualify to the Benefits

Under California’s workers’ compensation claims, death benefits will provide monetary compensation to the qualifying claimant. Benefits received can include funeral and burial expenses as well as cash benefits to those the deceased worker supported.

As previously mentioned, death benefits will be given to the worker’s partial or total dependents. For instance, the deceased worker’s spouse who made less than $30,000 the year prior to the victim’s death may be able to qualify for benefits. Likewise, minor children under the age of 18 could also qualify, as they are considered total dependents of the deceased worker.

A partial dependent can be determined based on the specific facts of each case. Every determination of dependency will be based on facts at the time of the accident or injury, and not at the time of the worker’s death.

For those seeking to be considered as dependents, they will need to be a member of the victim’s household or will need to be an immediate family member of the deceased worker or his or her spouse. Relatives that could qualify are usually the following:

  • Children, including step children or adopted children
  • Spouse or registered domestic partner
  • Siblings and parents
  • Grandparents
  • Aunts or uncles
  • Nieces and nephews

Pursuing Death Benefits Under California Workers’ Compensation

When pursuing a death benefit claim, it is likely that the insurance company will conduct an investigation of the claim, which includes an investigation on the cause of the worker’s death. During this process, the insurance company will be conducting depositions on the individuals claiming to be a dependent.

Contact the Support of a Skilled Attorney

If you are seeking to obtain death benefits, you will need to know how to file a workers’ compensation claim and also be knowledgeable in the process of settling the claim. In the event that your claim has been rejected, you have the legal right to appeal the denied petition. Contact the legal support of a qualified attorney who can assist you.

Workers’ compensation attorney Scot T. Moga has many years of experience helping injured workers or their survivors obtain the monetary compensation they deserve following a workplace accident. Workers’ compensation claims are designed to benefit the injured worker but can often present a multitude of complexities, which includes underpayment. If you lost a loved in a workplace accident, seek the legal support of an experienced attorney as soon as possible.

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