Workers' Compensation blog

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California workers’ compensation death benefits

On behalf of Mitchell Law Corporation
September 16, 2020

The loss of income from a workplace fatality could be as devastating to the family as the loss of the loved one who died. According to the California Guidebook for Injured Workers, the workers’ compensation system takes into account the effects of the lost income on family members.

Workers’ compensation benefits may be available to the family after a death caused by a workplace illness or injury.

Burial expenses

Families should not have to go into debt to lay their loved ones to rest in the manner that meets their religious and personal beliefs and practices. However, even the most basic of burial services can cost hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.

If the worker sustained the injury that led to death before 2013, the family receives money for burial, up to $5,000. If the injury occurred after 2013, the family receives no more than $10,000 for reasonable burial expenses.

Payments

The California Department of Industrial Relations explains that the amount of the payments to family members depends on how many total and partial dependents of the fatally injured worker are eligible to receive the benefits. The rate is the same as the total temporary disability rate. The amount increases in increments when there are more dependents, but the payments to the individuals may be smaller as the system divides them between more dependents.

The total maximum death benefit payments that a single dependent may receive are $250,000, paid in installments, although a minor will continue to receive benefits until his or her 18th birthday. A disabled minor’s benefit payments will continue for life.

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