Workers’ Compensation: Frequently Asked Questions about Death Benefit Claims

Workers’ Compensation- Frequently Asked Questions about Death Benefit ClaimsWhen an employee dies in the course of doing their job, family members may want to consult with a knowledgeable Delaware workers’ compensation attorney, who will help to make sure that your rights to collect compensation are protected. Silverman McDonald & Friedman will determine the amount of benefits you qualify for and then make sure that you receive them. You can call us to schedule a free consultation in our Seaford, Wilmington or Newark office location.

Whether your loved one died after losing a long fight with an occupational disease, or they passed away from a tragic workplace accident, it can be devastating to deal with such a tragedy. Knowing that their work-related death might have been prevented does not make it any easier to bear. In Delaware there were 12 occupational fatalities in 2014 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). They were all men between the ages of 26 and 65 years old. Many of them likely had wives and some had children who depended on their presence, their guidance and companionship and the income they provided through their work.

If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, or after a long occupational illness, here are some of the questions you might be looking for answers to:

Q: Who can receive workers’ compensation death benefits?

A: When a worker dies during the course of doing their job or from an occupational illness, workers’ compensation benefits are payable to the spouse and their dependents. Those family members who are related by blood or by marriage, who lived with the decedent and depended on their income for their living expenses are usually eligible to receive death benefits.

Q: How much can the family receive?

A: In Delaware, the amount of the weekly benefits payment is based on the number of dependents. The maximum total benefit payable to all of the worker’s dependents cannot exceed 80 percent of the maximum rate, which is set by the Secretary of Labor.

The death benefit includes help with funeral expenses up to $3,500, which is payable by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurer.

Q: How long will the benefits be payable?

A: Death benefits for workers’ compensation are usually paid weekly, and they usually amount to two-thirds of the deceased employee’s weekly salary at the time of death. These benefits are usually paid to the deceased worker’s spouse until the widower/widow remarries. At that point they are entitled to two more years of benefits. Children may be eligible to receive the death benefit if there is no surviving spouse, and the benefits may be paid until the child reaches age 18. If the child is disabled, he or she may receive benefits for as long as they are disabled.

If you have lost a loved one in a workplace accident, you may want to sit down and have a free consultation with a compassionate workers’ compensation attorney who will answer all of your questions, advise you of your legal options and put your mind at ease.

Having lost a loved one in a workplace accident is devastating and it can feel senseless. When you have the strident support of an experienced Delaware workers’ compensation attorney on your side, you can let go of the worry and feel confident that your interests are being represented. At the law firm of Silverman, McDonald & Friedman, we listen to your questions, and give you all of the legal guidance and support that you need. Please feel free to call us at 302-888-2900 or fill out our contact form to schedule a case review with a workers’ compensation lawyer in Newark, Seaford or Wilmington.