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Definition of Death Benefits

Death benefits are workers' compensation benefits that are paid to a surviving dependent or dependents in the event that a work related injury or illness results in the death of a worker. Death benefits are paid in addition to the workers' compensation benefits that an injured worker receives for a work-related injury or illness, such as loss wage benefits and medical care and expenses.

The requirements for receiving death benefits are usually created by state law and vary from state to state. However, in most states, the ones who are regarded as appropriate beneficiaries of workers' compensation death benefits usually involves two main relationships:

  1. Dependents
  2. Members of the deceased worker's family or household

Death benefits are intended to provide monetary support for those people who will suffer and be affected most by the worker's death. Obviously, those people who were dependent on the worker for monetary support are the ones who are most negatively affected. Some states look at those who were wholly and partially dependent on the deceased worker differently. The people who were considered to be wholly dependent are given preference. However, in some states, those who were partially dependent get reduced awards.

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