Does Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Provide Death Benefits?
No one wants to contemplate the possibility of death on the job, but it can happen. Several of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ most dangerous jobs are represented in Connecticut, from loggers to roofers to construction workers, and if you work in this kind of occupation, it is not out of the realm of possibility to think that one day, the unimaginable may happen. If it does, however, your employer’s workers’ compensation coverage will kick in for your family, so at least any unforeseen bills and expenses will not bankrupt them while they have to adjust to a new reality.
Unlike in many other states, Connecticut’s statute regarding job-related deaths is quite explicit, which can help to ease minds. It states that “dependents” of any worker whose passing was the result of an “accident arising out of and in the course of employment, or from an occupational disease,” are entitled to benefits. In other words, if your passing occurs as the result of an accident or occupational disease that happened “in the course of employment,” your family is entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits to help cover costs.
Specifically, the law allows up to $4,000 per family for reimbursement for funeral and burial expenses. In addition, any dependent who was totally reliant on the deceased worker for financial support – for example, minor children, or relatives living with the family who are unable to work – are entitled to receive 75 percent of the worker’s net earnings (though the rate is adjusted each year, as cost-of-living metrics change).
For a worker’s surviving spouse, specifically, the law allows them to receive survivor’s benefits until they either pass away or remarry. If the worker had minor children at the time of their passing, they are considered covered by the benefits paid to the surviving spouse. However, it is worth noting that if the deceased worker is survived by children from a different marriage, or children but no spouse, then the children are the ones who receive the benefits, in equal shares. They can continue to do so until they reach the age of 22.
One thing that is crucial to be aware of for the dependents of the deceased worker: the law states that if the only dependents of a worker killed on the job are nonresident aliens (that is, people who do not have legal immigration status in the U.S.), the statute gives the commissioner the ability, “in their discretion,” equitably apportion the “sums payable.” While this does not mean that nonresident aliens will automatically be denied their rightful compensation, it does add a potentially problematic wrinkle into the question of how to receive it.
Contact A Connecticut Workers’ Compensation Attorney
No one wants to contemplate meeting with an accident at work, but especially if you are in a dangerous occupation, the possibility must be contemplated. If you have questions about your workers’ compensation benefits and how they can help your family, contacting a Stratford workers’ compensation attorney from the Morizio Law Firm can be the first step toward getting those questions answered. Being knowledgeable is always better than being unsure. We are happy to try and assist you – call our offices today at 475-338-3505, or use our web form, to set up a free consultation.