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Are surviving dependents entitled to work comp benefits? -- II

In our previous post, we discussed the unfortunate reality that workplace fatalities are a far more common occurrence than people might believe, with statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration showing more than 93 workers per week lost their lives in 2015 alone.

We also discussed how those family members who find themselves in these tragic scenarios can derive some comfort from the fact that Colorado's workers' compensation law dictates surviving dependents are entitled to $7,000 for funeral expenses and, more significantly, weekly payments. We'll continue this exploration in today's post.

How long do weekly death benefits last?

State law dictates that weekly death benefits are to be paid for the lifetime of the dependent spouse, only terminating earlier if he or she remarries.

What exactly happens in the event of remarriage?

If a surviving spouse remarries and had no dependent children with the deceased worker, he or she will be paid one final lump sum equal to two years of weekly death benefits (minus previous overpayments or lump sum payments).

If a surviving spouse remarries and had dependent children with the deceased worker, his or her weekly death benefits will then be reapportioned among the dependent children going forward.

How long can dependent children receive weekly death benefits?

Dependent children can receive weekly death benefits until they reach the age of 18, or until they reach the age of 21 if they are a full-time student.

What if the deceased worker had neither a spouse nor dependent children?

If the deceased worker was over 21, was not married or had no dependent children, partial weekly death benefits can be paid for six years to other relatives, including siblings, parents or grandparents.

If the deceased worker was under 21, was not married or had no dependent children, $15,000 in work comp death benefits are payable to his or her parents.

What about Social Security death benefits?

According to the Colorado Division of Workers' Compensation, all of the aforementioned death benefits are reduced by 50 percent of the death benefits the dependents receive via the Social Security Administration.

Always remember to consider speaking with as skilled legal professional if you have question or concerns relating to this or another work comp-related issue.

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