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Workers’ compensation death benefits for surviving family members

Many employees in the state of Iowa work jobs that are very hazardous. Unfortunately, suffering a fatal injury is not out of the question. If a worker is killed while performing his or her job duties, or dies from a work-related illness, the immediate family members may be entitled to receive death benefits through Iowa’s workers’ compensation system. These benefits were established to offset the loss of financial support that family members had received from the deceased worker. How can family members determine if they are eligible for these benefits?

The eligibility requirements for workers’ compensation death benefits will vary depending on the state. However, these benefits most often apply to those who were related by blood or marriage to the deceased employee and were dependent upon the deceased employee for living expenses. These are usually spouses, children or other close relatives. In order to receive these benefits, the employee’s death must have been caused by a work-related illness or injury. Workers who die from illnesses caused by working conditions, such as exposure to dangerous chemicals, may also be included.

The amount of death benefits that the family receives is derived from the amount the employee earned before the incident. Again, this will vary depending on the state. However, death benefits are usually paid out in installments. Although there are maximum and minimum amounts, the weekly payment is typically two-thirds of the deceased worker’s average weekly pay.

Families who suffer the loss of a loved one often go through great emotional and psychological pain that may never fully heal. Unfortunately, losing a close family member can also cause financial struggles. Workers’ compensation death benefits can prove invaluable for surviving dependents. These benefits will vary from state to state and are complicated and confusing. Those in Iowa who have lost a loved one due to a work-related injury or illness should consider consulting an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.