My Relative Died in a Work Accident. What Are My Rights?
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My Relative Died in a Work Accident. What Are My Rights?

If your relative tragically died in a workplace accident, you may have the right to receive compensation on your relative’s behalf. In Minnesota, this compensation is called death and dependency benefits.

Who Pays the Compensation?

Minnesota employers must purchase workers’ compensation insurance or qualify for self-insurance. The workers’ compensation insurer for the employer pays out the death and dependency benefits to qualifying people if their relative dies on the job. Unfortunately this happens all too often. As a result, the Legislature has passed specific laws saying how much compensation you can receive and who receives it.

Who Can Receive the Compensation?

The closer the relative you are, the more likely you will receive benefits. Spouses and children receive the death and dependency benefits unless the deceased worker had no spouse or children. In that case, close relatives who were dependent on the deceased worker for care or income will qualify. For example, parents or siblings who lived with the deceased worker and for whom the deceased worker provided food and care could get benefits. If you were partially dependent on the deceased worker, you may still qualify for some benefits proportionate to the support the worker provided to you.

How Much Money Is It?

Dependents can receive at least $60,000 in benefits. The amount varies based on the family situation and the deceased worker’s average weekly wage when the accident occurred. Also, the family can receive a payment of up to $15,000 for burial expenses.

How Do You Request Death and Dependency Benefits?

You need to contact the workers’ compensation insurance company used by the deceased worker’s employer. You can talk to the employer or look up the insurer here. Contact an insurance company representative and explain your relationship to the deceased worker. If you receive any pushback from the insurer when trying to qualify for benefits, reach out to a workers’ compensation lawyer for help.

Need help getting workers’ compensation death and dependency benefits due to your relative’s fatal work injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.