The personal trauma that comes when a family loses someone to a work-related death is difficult to overcome. And if the person who died was a breadwinner for the family, financial problems can be an unwelcome addition to the tragedy. Survivor benefits exist specifically for this eventuality.
When are survivor benefits available?
Survivor benefits are governed by New York’s Workers’ Compensation Board and are available when an employee dies as a result of the work they did. This does not mean that the death must take place at the work site – it does not. And although work-related deaths frequently result from an accident, this is not a requirement either. Any injury or illness which occurred from the employee’s job, and which led to the employee’s death, can qualify their surviving family members for benefits.
Who is entitled to survivor benefits?
The employee’s spouse and children have priority in receiving survivor benefits. In the absence of these relatives, grandchildren, parents, grandparents and siblings may also be entitled to collect. It’s important to note that, depending upon the circumstances, benefits may be divided amongst multiple survivors.
What benefits can survivors receive?
Funeral expenses make up part of the available benefits. There is a maximum amount set, which is dependent upon the county. Spouses and dependent children are also entitled to a weekly cash benefit equaling two-thirds of the employee’s average pay over the year preceding their death. New York sets a cap, so there is a maximum amount that cannot be exceeded.
If you need help determining whether you are eligible for survivor benefits, or need assistance obtaining them, seek the assistance of a professional who is experienced in New York Workers’ Compensation Law.