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Death Benefits In a St. Petersburg Workers’ Compensation Claim

The Florida Workers’ Compensation law provides that all employers with four or more employees must provide workers’ compensation coverage for their employees except for employers in the construction industry where all employers must provide workers’ compensation coverage. If an employee is injured in the course and scope of employment, he or she is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.

If you have lost a loved one through a work-related injury or disease, you may be entitled to receive death benefits through workers’ compensation.  Death benefits are usually limited to spouses, children, and other family members who lived with the deceased employee and were dependent upon him or her for financial support. While the exact eligibility requirements vary from state to state, death benefits are usually reserved for those who were related to the deceased employee by blood or marriage and relied on the deceased employee to pay their living expenses.

Florida Death Benefits

In the State of Florida:

If a worker dies as a result of an accident within one year or within five years of the accident if there has been continuous disability, death benefits[1] may be owed to the surviving dependents.  The amount of benefits will vary according to the number of legal dependents, but will not exceed 66 2/3% of the worker’s average weekly wage before injury. The total amount of compensation cannot exceed $150,000 to be paid out in bi-weekly payments (not in a lump sum). In addition, up to $7500 in actual funeral expenses can be paid.”

Death benefits are available in a wide variety of circumstances and not just when the employee passes away on the job. In order for you to receive death benefits, the death must have been caused by a workplace injury or occupational disease, at least in part. Even if your loved one had other conditions or diseases unrelated to work, you still may be eligible for death benefits if the work injury or disease contributed to or accelerated his or her death.

St. Petersburg Death Benefits

Death benefits are often paid in regular weekly installments, and the amount is based on the deceased employee’s wages. Most commonly, death benefits are two-thirds of the deceased employee’s average weekly wage. The Florida Workers’ Compensation law provides eligibility for up to $150,000.00 in death benefits if a worker dies from his or her work-related condition within five years of the date of the accident. Family members that can be eligible for death benefits include the spouse, child parent, sibling or grandchild. However, eligibility of these family members also requires proof they were a dependent, received substantial financial support on a regular basis, and the support was reasonably expected to continue into the future

Dependents are paid in an “order of preference” as follows:

  • The spouse if there are no children. Payment is 50 percent of the deceased’s weekly wage.
  • The spouse if there is a dependent child or children. Payment is 50 percent of the deceased’s weekly wage plus 16 2/3 percent due to the children.
  • To the child or children if there is no spouse. The benefit is 33.3 percent of the deceased’s weekly wages for each child until they are 18 years old (or 22 if in school full-time.) A child who cannot earn a living because of physical or mental disability would continue to receive payments until the $150,000 maximum is met.
  • To the parents if they were dependents of the deceased. They each receive 25 percent of weekly wages as long as the dependency continues or until the maximum is met.
  • To any brothers, sisters, and grandchildren who were dependent on the deceased. They would receive 15 percent each as long as they remain dependent or the maximum benefit is depleted.

Just as there are many variables in what constitutes a family or a family relationship, there are different ways the law may be applied.

What Other Benefits Are Available in St. Petersburg?

Workers’ compensation pays at least a portion of burial expenses. The Florida Workers’ Compensation law provides $7,500.00 for funeral expenses[2]. Workers’ compensation also covers medical bills for the treatment and care your loved one received due to the work-related injury or disease.

Call a St. Petersburg Workers’ Compensation Attorney

If you lost a family member as a result of a work-related accident, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits.  The attorneys at the Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA are experienced St. Petersburg workers’ compensation attorneys who are prepared to review your case today and to assist you with that process to make certain that you receive all of the compensation to which you are entitled.  Please call our office at (727) 222-6922.

Sibley Dolman Gipe Accident Injury Lawyers, PA
1663 1st Ave S.
St. Petersburg, FL 33712
(727) 222-6922

St. Petersburg Personal Injury Attorney

References:

[1] http://www.dep.state.fl.us/admin/personnel/Employment/FTE/FAQ.pdf
[2] http://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/wc/employee/#.VydM09aaDq0