Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits

November 19, 2018

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When a worker is killed in a workplace accident or dies from a work-related illness, the loss of the provider’s wages can financially devastate the spouse, children, and loved ones left behind. Fortunately, in Pennsylvania, workers’ compensation benefits are provided to the dependents of workers who suffer fatal work-related injury or illness.

Who is Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits?

The loss of a spouse, parent, or adult child is devastating to loved ones left behind, but for those that were dependent upon the wages earned by the deceased, their grief can be compounded by financial hardship. Pennsylvania workers’ compensation death benefits provide much needed compensation to dependent family members of workers that suffer fatal injuries. Eligibility requirements determine who receives this compensation and how much they are entitled to receive.

  • Spousal Benefit: The spouse of the deceased worker with no children can claim 51 percent of the worker’s average weekly salary. A spouse with one dependent child is entitled to 60 percent of the deceased’s salary, and 66 2/3 percent of the salary if there are two or more dependent children. The spousal benefit continues until death or remarriage.
  • Dependent Child Benefit: For workers with children, the workers’ compensation benefit depends on several factors. If the worker had a spouse and children with a different guardian, then the spouse and child share the 60 percent benefit. If there is a spouse and more than one child with a different guardian, the spouse receives 33 1/3 percent and the children share 33 1/3 percent of the benefit. If the deceased has children but no spouse, the guardian of the children receives between 42 percent and 66 2/3 percent of the worker’s salary, depending on the number of children that were dependent upon the deceased. The dependent child benefit continues until the age of 18, or throughout the life of a disabled child. Full-time students can continue benefits up until 23 years of age.
  • Dependent Parent Benefit: When there is no spouse or no children left behind, the parent of the deceased worker that relied partially on the financial contributions of their child can claim 32 percent of the worker’s salary. If the parent was totally dependent on the worker’s wages, they can receive 52 percent. Parental benefits continue until the parent’s death.
  • Dependent Siblings: When there are no dependent spouses, children, or parents of the deceased worker, a dependent sibling can claim 22 percent of the deceased worker’s wages. If there is more than one dependent sibling, five percent is added to each claim with a maximum claim amount of 32 percent per sibling.

Funeral Benefits

Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits provide financial assistance toward the funeral costs for workers suffering a fatal work-related injury or Illness. The funeral death benefit in Pennsylvania is capped at $3,000 for what are considered reasonable funeral expenses. Reasonable funeral expenses include a casket, burial plot, and embalming or cremation services. Flowers, post-funeral lunches, and limousine transportation are not considered reasonable expenses under the funeral benefit.

Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Help Families of Fatally Injured Workers Claim Compensation

If your loved one has been fatally injured in a work-related accident, call the Reading workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. at 888-PITT-LAW or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today.

We assist families throughout Pennsylvania, including those in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery County, and Philadelphia County, as well as in the communities of AbingtonAmblerArdmoreBala CynwydBensalemClifton HeightsCrum Lynne, DarbyDowningtownDoylestownDrexel HillEssington, FolcroftGlenoldenHaverfordHavertownHolmesKutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion StationMorton, Narberth, Norristown, NorwoodPhiladelphiaProspect Park, QuakertownReadingRoxboroughSharon HillUpper Darby, West Chester and Wynnewood.