Are surviving dependents entitled to work comp benefits?

Mar 30 2017

While most people are willing to accept that there is a possibility they could suffer some manner of work-related injury on any given day, they might have a much harder time accepting the possibility that they could actually lose their lives while performing their duties.

Sadly, statistics from the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration reveal that workplace fatalities are far more common than people might realize, reaching an astounding 4,836 in 2015 or, put another way, more than 93 per week or more than 13 per day. 

All this raises the question as to what happens in terms of workers’ compensation if an individual is killed on the job — a particularly important inquiry if they are married and/or have any dependent children.

The good news is that the law in Colorado does indeed provide that work comp benefits should be paid in these scenarios.

What exactly are surviving dependents entitled to under state law?

If a person is killed on the job, their surviving dependents are entitled to as much as $7,000 for funeral expenses and weekly death benefits.

How much are these weekly death benefits?  

The law dictates that the amount of weekly death benefits is to be calculated using roughly the same formula as that used for temporary total disability benefits.

Essentially, surviving dependents would receive two-thirds (i.e., 66 percent) of the average weekly wage of the deceased at the time of their fatal work injury subject to both a maximum and minimum established by state law.

The maximum weekly death benefit for 2017 is $939.82 and the minimum weekly death benefit is $234.96.

We’ll continue this discussion in our next post, examining more about how long these death benefits last.

If you have question or concerns relating to this or another work comp-related issue, consider speaking with a skilled legal professional as soon as possible.