According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 91 Oklahoma workers killed on the job in 2018 (the latest year for available statistics). The spouses and children of these workers may be eligible for workers’ compensation death benefits, but only if they take the right steps to obtain them.
Filing a claim for workers’ compensation death benefits
If you are the spouse, child, or other dependent of an Oklahoma worker killed in a workplace accident, your first step is to file a proof of loss form with the Oklahoma Workers’ Compensation Commission. This one-page form will ask you to list all the victim’s children and any other dependents. Upon completion, you will submit the form to the OWCC and send a copy to the victim’s employer.
Your request for death benefits will be reviewed by the OWCC, which may request additional documentation that the victim financially supported the dependents listed on the form. Once all beneficiaries have been identified, the victim’s employer must start the payment of death benefits within 15 days.
You must file your claim for workers’ compensation death benefits within two years from the date of the victim’s death. If you fail to file within this time period, you could lose your right to claim death benefits.
Amount of death benefits available to surviving family members
A surviving spouse is entitled to a lump sum benefit payment of $100,000 as well as a lump-sum payment of $10,000 for funeral expenses. Dependent children may receive $25,000 each. In addition, a surviving spouse and additional dependents may receive weekly benefits based upon a percentage of the weekly wages earned by the employee at the time of death.
Death benefits stop if a spouse remarries, at which time a lump sum equal to two years’ compensation is paid. A child’s benefits stop at age 18, but can continue if the child is a full-time student or is not self-supporting.
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 at (918) 582-2500 or toll-free at (800) 722-8880 or complete the simple form below for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.