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California Workers’ Compensation: Receiving Death Benefits

When a person passes away as a result of a work injury, there are particular benefits available to the people who depended on the deceased for monetary support.

Death benefits are based on the relationship to the perished worker and the amount of economic support the worker had provided.

In the State of California, death benefits are:

  1. Payable to those who qualify as partial or total dependents;
  2. Payable based on the relationship to the perished worker and the amount of economic support received; and
  3. Is received when it is properly requested and under a particular time.

Individuals who have lost a loved one who provided them with financial support, and a work injury caused the death, they may have the ability to obtain death benefits under workers’ compensation in California.

Who Can Qualify?

In the State of California, death benefits go to a worker’s partial dependents and/or total dependents. This can involve the following:

  • A deceased worker’s spouse who makes a maximum of $30,000 in the year before the worker’s untimely death and minors are considered as total dependents.
  • A partial dependent is determined on specific facts in each case.
  • In order to determine if a person is a dependent of the deceased, determinations will be based on the time of the deceased’s injury and not on the time of his or her death.

In order for a person to be considered a dependent, this individual must be an immediate relative to the deceased or his or her spouse. To be considered, the inquiry could also be a member of the deceased’s household. A relative that could be considered as a dependent could include the following:

  • Minors in the household, including stepchildren or adopted children,
  • The deceased’s spouse or domestic partner,
  • Siblings of the deceased,
  • Parents of the deceased,
  • Grandparents of the deceased,
  • Aunts or uncles of the deceased,
  • Nephews or nieces, and/or
  • In-laws of the deceased

In order to be considered as a household member, claimants must have lived with the perished worker.

Claiming Death Benefits and Seeking Legal Support

To claim benefits, a claimant will need to file an appeal with the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. Insurance companies can conduct an investigation of the submission that includes an in-depth investigation on the deceased’s cause of death. Once an application is submitted, and a rejection has been given, the petitioner has a right to file an appeal for the denial.

If you have lost a loved one who supported you financially, you could receive workers’ compensation death benefits if certain elements are met. Seeking the support of an experienced attorney can help you file a strong application. If your application has been denied, an attorney can help you file an appeal.

Attorney Albert E. Hirst is qualified in the legal field of workers’ compensation benefits, including receiving death benefits. He is dedicated to helping those who have lost a loved one as a result of a tragic work-related incident. Workers’ compensation benefits are subject to deadlines; consult a professional attorney as soon as possible.