Most people in Modesto believe that workers’ compensation benefits become available only in those cases where an employee injured on the job needs temporary financial assistance while away from work. Yet what about those cases where one dies due to a work-related injury?
In such a scenario, loved ones are likely left behind to deal not just with the emotional void that a sudden and unexpected death brings, but also the loss of whatever financial support and sustenance the decedent provided. Should such dependents also receive some sort of benefit through workers’ compensation?
Assistance following a workplace fatality
The potential of one losing their life while at work is very real; indeed, information shared by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration shows that in 2018, 5,250 people died on the job. Those they leave behind must deal with the immediate expenses related to their death (which can be significant). Market research shows that funeral and burial expenses average between $7,000 and $12,000.
Fortunately, when a workplace fatality occurs, workers’ compensation programs extend death benefits to the decedent’s dependents. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, the state’s allotted workers’ compensation death benefit allows for up to $10,000 to cover funeral and burial costs.
Continued financial support for dependents
The workers’ compensation death benefit in California also pays a lifetime benefit between $250,000-$320,000 depending on the number of total dependents they leave behind. If they leave one total and one partial dependent, those dependents may receive as much as $250,000 plus four times the annual support they provided (not to exceed $290,000). Those figures adjust to eight times a decedent’s annual support (not to exceed $250,000) if they only had partial dependents.