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Workers’ Compensation Death Benefits Explained

Posted in Workers Compensation on January 11, 2023

According to the information available from the National Safety Council, there were 97 total worker deaths across the state of Arizona during the latest reporting year on file. This equates to 3.1 deaths per 100,000 workers in the state.

It is crucial for individuals and their families to know what kind of death benefits are available through the state workers’ compensation insurance system. Here come we want to explain these benefits so you and your family have an understanding and hopefully a piece of mind about what will happen if the worst happens.

Arizona Workers’ Comp Death Benefits

Each state outlines the exact stipulations about who can qualify as a surviving dependent of a deceased worker. The law will also outline how much compensation these individuals would be entitled to. Eligible parties will be categorized as either a dependent of the worker who lost their life or as a member of the deceased worker’s family or household.

In Arizona, the qualifying factors surrounding death benefits for workers’ compensation claims in Arizona are as follows:

  • Surviving spouse. Benefits will be provided to a surviving spouse at a rate of 66 and 2/3% if there are no children. If there are children, the surviving spouse can receive 35% of the compensation.
  • Children or stepchildren. Benefits will be extended until age 22 if the individual is enrolled as a full-time student. Otherwise, benefits will cease at age 18. If the child is disabled, compensation could continue throughout the child’s life.
  • Parents. If both parents were wholly dependent on the deceased worker, they would be eligible to receive 40% of the compensation. A single parent would be able to receive 40% of the compensation.
  • Siblings. If a single sibling was wholly dependent on the deceased worker, they can receive 25% of compensation. If there is more than one sibling that was totally dependent on the deceased, then they can receive 35% of the compensation divided equally among them.

Properly understanding who can receive what type of compensation after a person loses their life in an on-the-job injury can be challenging. We strongly encourage any individual in these circumstances to reach out to a skilled workers’ compensation attorney in Arizona who can consist with every aspect of this situation.

What Else Do Death Benefits in Arizona Cover?

If a loved one loses their life as a result of an on-the-job injury, there may be other expenses covered through workers’ compensation aside from the income paid to qualifying dependents. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Funeral and burial expenses, up to $5,000
  • Wage replacement benefits or temporary total disability payments
  • Medical treatment expenses incurred by the deceased as a result of the injury but before their passing

How an Attorney Can Help

After losing a loved one as a result of a work injury in Arizona, the aftermath can be confusing. We strongly encourage you to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer with experience handling death claims for dependents and family members. An attorney can gather all the evidence needed to prove what happened and help deal with the paperwork involved in these claims. If necessary, an attorney can help go through the appeals process so that the individuals involved can receive their rightful compensation.