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Understanding workers' compensation death benefits

When someone you depend on dies on the job, it is devastating. No one goes to work on a Wednesday and thinks to themselves "Well, this is it. No need to make plans for the weekend." Of course, losing a breadwinner in your household creates not only emotional burdens, but very real practical burdens.

While it is not tasteful to think in terms of silver linings to the death of a loved one, there is some comfort to be had in knowing that workers' compensation allows for death benefits to survivors in California. While this cannot undo your heartbreak, it can give you some room to breathe and create space for you to focus on healing from your loss rather than worrying about where you'll find your next meal or how to pay rent.

Get the help you need to move forward

A sudden death in your family is never easy to handle. In times like this, it is often very helpful to reach out to an experienced attorney who understands how to navigate the death benefits process and can handle this issue on your behalf.

Death benefits in California can extend to dependents or immediate family if an individual either dies on-the-job or suffers a work-related injury that turns fatal over time. The amount of the benefits varies depending on how many dependents the decedent had at the time of death. These benefits may pay as much as $320,000 over time.

If the decedent had totally dependent minors, benefits may continue until the minor's 18th birthday, or possibly extend indefinitely if the minor dependent is disabled. Benefits may also include up to $10,000 for funeral expenses for the decedent.

Don't wait to begin your death benefits claim

While you do have options for obtaining workers' compensation benefits, you should not wait too long. If you surpass the statute of limitations, you may miss out entirely on benefits you truly deserve.

In the case of a person who died in a single incident, the statute of limitations is five years from the date of death, whereas if the person died at some later point because of injuries sustained in a workplace accident, the window is only one year from the date of death.

Be sure to secure the help you need to take action and receive the benefits you deserve so that you can focus on healing from your loss.

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Making a false or fraudulent workers’ compensation claim is a felony subject to 5 years in prison or up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine.

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