Tragic news occurred yesterday when a worker fell to his death a construction site in the Milwaukee area: A worker died in a fall at the Oak Creek Amazon facility construction site. (From the Journal Sentinel).
Following such devastation, the worker’s compensation system focuses on some modest amount of dollars for the deceased’s remaining family.
The Worker’s Compensation Act provides “death benefits” to a deceased worker’s dependents. The dollar compensation is equal to four (4) times the worker’s annual wages.
However, the law limits who is a “dependent” to a spouse living with the deceased at the time of death, or if there is no live-in spouse, any children under the age of 18. Notably, if there is no spouse or minor children, other family members could bring claims for partial dependency benefits (paid out at a lower amount).
In most situations, the worker’s compensation carrier contacts the surviving dependents and pays the death benefit without question. In certain family situations, disputes might arise that would require attorney involvement.
Funeral and burial expenses for the deceased worker (up to $10,000) should also be paid by worker’s compensation insurance carrier.