Workers’ compensation not only pays out benefits for injuries that occur at the workplace, but it also will pay death benefits to the family of a worker who dies during a work incident. If you have a loved one who died on the job due to an accident, then you have the right to request these benefits.
According to the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, workers’ compensation death benefits are for family members who were dependent upon the worker for financial needs.
You should note that death benefits are available regardless of when the worker dies as long as the death is a result of the injury sustained at work. For example, if your husband suffers an injury on the job and ends up dying from the effects of the injury a year later, then you would still be able to make a claim for death benefits. His death was due to the work injury for which he qualified for workers’ compensation benefits.
The initial benefits you will receive are a one-time payment from the employer for funeral expenses of $3,500. The employer will pay this directly to you if you paid for the funeral or to the estate in the event the estate paid for the funeral expenses.
You, as a dependent, will also qualify for weekly benefits. You can receive 70% of your loved one’s average weekly wage amount. However, you should note that there is a maximum benefit amount, which may mean you receive less than 70%.
In addition, a judge must determine the right to benefits. He or she may divide them among all dependents, so that could also lower the actual amount of benefits you receive.