Ohio workers' comp death benefits for surviving dependent family members
Under Ohio workers' compensation laws, surviving dependents of workers who die in workplace accidents or from occupational diseases may file for death benefits.
October 11, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/ -- Ohio workers' comp death benefits for surviving dependent family members
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Under Ohio workers' compensation laws, surviving dependents of workers who die in workplace accidents or from occupational diseases may file for death benefits. Unfortunately, the state still sees its share of work-related death, according to a September 2013 article in Toledo's newspaper The Blade that compiled information from state and federal government sources.
Some of the Ohio work-fatality data from 2012:
-About 154 Ohioans died from work-related disease and injury that year.
-The most common cause of work-related death was motor vehicle accidents.
-Other causes of death included falls, chemicals, falling objects, firearms, "co-workers" and more.
-Falls were particularly deadly in the construction industry.
-Fields with higher fatality rates were transportation, construction and agriculture, all industries in which heavy equipment is common.
Dependent spouses and other family members who were wholly or partly dependent on the deceased worker are eligible for death benefits. To qualify, a wholly or partly dependent relative must be a spouse, lineal descendant, ancestor or sibling.
The following people are presumed wholly dependent:
-A surviving spouse who lived with the worker or who was separated from the decedent because of spousal aggression.
-A minor child under 18 (25 if a full-time student) or an incapacitated child of any age who lived with the deceased parent and received more than half of that child's support from that parent, or for whom the parent was "legally liable."
-A natural parent or parents if they lived with the worker would be eligible for a minimum total collective award of $3,000.
A qualified relative is eligible if "circumstances" support that they were prospectively going to become a dependent of the deceased. Except for natural parents, the total collective amount of benefits for prospective dependents is $3,000 to be divided among them.
If the deceased worker had no dependants, whoever paid for the worker's funeral is eligible for reasonable workers' compensation reimbursement up to $5,500.
In most cases the death benefit amount payable to eligible dependents will be about two-thirds of the worker's average weekly wage at the time of death. A caveat is that the amount is capped at two-thirds of the statewide average weekly wage and may not be lower than one-half of the statewide average weekly wage.
If there is more than one eligible dependent, the state workers' comp administrator will divide the benefit among them at his or her discretion.
Dependant spouse death benefits continue until the spouse dies or remarries. Upon remarriage, the spouse receives a final lump sum payment equal to two years of weekly death benefits.
For any other wholly dependent person getting death benefits, his or her proportion continues until the first of the following:
-The dependant's death.
-The dependant reaches 18 years of age.
-If the dependant is a full-time student at an accredited program, when he or she reaches 25 years of age.
-If the dependant is disabled from working, when he or she is no longer incapacitated.
Any partly dependent person receives benefits until the state workers' comp administrator determines they will cease.
A seasoned Ohio workers' comp lawyer can assist with the complexities of a surviving dependant's claim for death benefits, including advice about important filing deadlines. If the claim is initially denied, the denial may be appealed. This area of the law is complex and legal guidance can make all the difference.
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