Losing a Loved One is Difficult Enough, Workers Death Benefit Compensation Shouldn’t Be
No one is ever prepared to get that phone call. Everyone knows what kind of phone call it is, too.
“There was an accident. They’re not coming home.”
The unreality that sets in when you lose a spouse or loved on to work related fatal accident is a normal part of the grieving process. Funeral arrangements need to be organized. Decisions need to be made. Forms and papers have to get signed. It is almost always an incredibly draining and overwhelming experience. Most come through the experience exhausted and in need of some serious downtime to recover. However, if the deceased was a primary source of income for your household, down time may not be an option.
Where is the money going to come from to keep paying the mortgage? What about all the bills? Funeral expenses? You can’t do all this alone, and life insurance can’t always cover everything. Fortunately, there is hope: the dependent family of workers who die due to a work related injury or illness are often eligible for a death benefit paid out by the employer of the deceased or their insurance. In New Jersey, survivors of a deceased worker killed on the job are entitled to 70% of their deceased loved ones weekly wages, provided of course it does not exceed the maximum annual amount established by the NJ Commission of Labor.
Who qualifies? Typically, a surviving spouse and natural children who cohabitated with the deceased are considered presumed dependents. Any other dependents that were not in the household at the time but are considered alleged dependents must prove actual financial dependency. Dependent children are considered beneficiaries until the age of 18, or 23 if they are a full time student. Physically or mentally disabled children are often eligible for additional benefits.
Furthermore, employers and insurance carriers are required to pay up to $3,500 for funeral expenses when an employee dies in a work related accident. Funds are paid to the party responsible for the funeral bill, regardless of whether it is the estate or an individual.
The process for applying for and receiving death benefits from a former spouse or loved one’s employer can be a somewhat intimidating process. If you are not familiar with the law and the usual protocols for processing worker death benefits, you may want to consider hiring a worker’s death benefits lawyer to help guide you through the process and ensure that you receive all compensation to which you are entitled. Or, if you are attempting to prove dependency, you will need an attorney who is familiar with workers death benefits programs in your state to help you make the best possible case. If you live in New Jersey and are in the process of trying to establish your right to a workers death benefits from a spouse or loved one, call the New Jersey Disability Attorney. They can help you get what you deserve while expediting your process as they help you navigate the bureaucracy and hassles that accompany applying for workers death benefits. Call today to find out how they can help with your case.