Were one to ask most people in Shelton to describe workers’ compensation benefits, they would likely receive responses detailing scenarios where a worker suffers a hampering (yet non-life-threatening) injury that keeps them out of work for a few months. Yet oftentimes the results of a workplace injury can be much more serious.
Indeed, according to information shared by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, there were 5,250 workplace fatalities reported in 2018 alone. Many may wonder when a worker dies on the job what role workers’ compensation benefits may play in their loved one’s recovery.
Detailing death benefits paid to a worker’s family
Per Connecticut’s Workers’ Compensation Act, the family of one killed in a workplace accident is immediately entitled to a payment of $4,000 to help cover their burial and funeral expenses. After that, a spouse who was wholly dependent on the worker for their financial sustenance will receive weekly compensation that is equal to 75% of the deceased worker’s salary (as of the date of their debt). That amount adjusts annually every October to account for increases in the cost of living. The worker’s spouse will continue to receive this assistance up to the point that they either remarry or pass away.
Assistance for a deceased workers’ other dependents
If a worker killed on the job also has dependent children (and those children are also the children of or living with their surviving spouse), then the benefits received are the same as those detailed above. If the worker’s children are not the children of their surviving spouse (and are not living with the surviving spouse), then all eligible parties receive an equal portion of the death benefits. Dependent children are eligible for death benefits up to the age of 18 (or 22 if they are pursuing post-secondary schooling opportunities).