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Definition of Presumptive Dependent

A presumptive dependent is a person who is conclusively presumed to be dependent upon a worker who dies from or is killed in a work-related event. Presumptive dependents are distinguished from those who are regarded as dependents-in-fact. Dependents-in-fact are people who are related to the deceased by blood or marriage, such as a niece or a father-in-law, and are either totally or partially dependent on the deceased worker. Death benefits are one of the benefits provided by workers' compensation. They are paid to qualified, eligible dependents of a deceased worker.

Although workers' compensation laws vary from state to state, in general, a presumptive dependent is a person who is a spouse of the deceased worker as long as she or he does not re-marry, unmarried children under the age of 21 who are living with the worker at the time of death, unmarried children under the age of 21 who are not living with the worker at the time of death but for whom the worker had a legal support obligation or children over the age of 21 who have never married and are physically or mentally handicapped, or are keeping house for the worker and not otherwise gainfully employed.

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