Thousands of people lose loved ones in tragic workplace accidents every year. There’s no doubt that the death of a spouse or parent is devastating, and it can also put a strain on the family’s finances. Fortunately, the victim’s surviving spouse and children may qualify for workers’ compensation death benefits. Here’s how to obtain these benefits:
How to File A Claim For Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits
You must file a proof of loss form with the Workers’ Compensation Commission if your loved one was killed in a workplace accident. You will need to provide a complete list of the victim’s children and other dependents on this form. Then, submit the form to the commission and send a completed copy to the opposing party.
The commission will review the details of the form to identify the parties that are entitled to workers’ compensation death benefits. Most cases are fairly straightforward, but in some cases, the commission may ask for additional proof that the victim financially supported the dependents listed on the form. After the commission has named the beneficiaries, the victim’s employer has 15 days to initiate the payment of death benefits.
The Statute of Limitations on Workers’ Compensation Claims For Death Benefits
The law limits the amount of time that the surviving family members have to file a claim for death benefits. In Oklahoma, family members must file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Commission within two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you miss this deadline, the Workers’ Compensation Commission can dismiss your claim and you could lose your right to death benefits.
Types of Death Benefits Awarded to Surviving Family Members
The victim’s surviving family members can receive several types of workers’ compensation death benefits, including:
- Up to $10,000 in compensation for funeral expenses
- Lump-sum payment up to $100,000
- Weekly payments that are equal to a percentage of the victim’s average weekly wage
The victim’s spouse will continue to receive these benefits until he or she remarries. The benefits for surviving children typically end when the child turns 18. However, they may continue past this date if the child is a full-time student or not capable of self-support.
Did your loved one sustain a fatal workplace injury? If so, contact the experienced attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. Let us work tirelessly to secure workers’ compensation death benefits while you focus solely on mourning the loss of your loved one. 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.