Losing a parent to a work-related injury is traumatic for children. No amount of money can make up for the loss of a parent, but workers’ compensation benefits can ensure the victim’s surviving children have the financial support they need to carry on. How long will surviving children continue to receive workers’ compensation death benefits? Here’s what you should know:
How Much Will the Surviving Children Receive?
The amount that is awarded to surviving children will depend on whether or not there is also a surviving spouse, the number of surviving children, and the victim’s income.
If there is both a surviving spouse and children, the workers’ compensation system will pay a lump sum of $25,000 to these family members. The children will also receive either 15% of the victim’s average weekly wage or 15% of the state’s average weekly wage, whichever is less. However, the rule is slightly different when there is a surviving spouse and more than two surviving children. If there is a surviving spouse and three or more surviving children, each child receives a share of a $50,000 lump sum payment in addition to 30% of the victim’s average weekly wage.
The benefits awarded to surviving children are also different when there is no surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse and one or two surviving children, the system will award a lump sum payment of $25,000 and 50% of either the victim’s average weekly wage or the state’s average weekly wage. If there are more than two surviving children and no surviving spouse, each child receives a share of 100% of either the victim’s or state’s average weekly wage. In the event that there are more than six surviving children, the workers’ compensation system awards a lump sum of $150,000.
How Long Will Benefits Continue?
The surviving children will continue to receive weekly income benefits through the workers’ compensation system until their death, marriage, or 18th birthday, whichever comes first.
However, there are a few exceptions to this rule. Children that are in high school, college, or a vocational training program on their 18th birthday can continue to receive death benefits until their 23rd birthday or until they are no longer enrolled in school, whichever comes first. Children that are physically or mentally incapable of supporting themselves at the age of 18 can also continue to receive benefits either until their 23rd birthday or the day they become capable of financial independence.
Have you lost a loved one in a work-related accident? If so, Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. is here to help. Our experienced attorneys are committed to helping grieving family members recover workers’ compensation death benefits. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.