Apart from disability benefits, ongoing physical therapy, and medical care, workers’ compensation also gives death benefits. However, these benefits do not come to beneficiaries automatically. There is also the question of how much it should be and the people that should benefit.
Compensation upon the death of workers can also be a source of conflict when the families lack the correct legal information. Tampa Bay criminal and injury attorneys can offer correct answers, guide families, and ease the confusion.
How Will I Know if My Loved One Had Workers’ Comp Coverage?
A dependent might lose out on the death benefits of their loved one if they weren’t covered in a workers’ comp scheme.
The law requires employees to have coverage if they operate in certain industries.
Businesses undertaking construction activities with at least one employee need this coverage. And LLC members and corporate officers are counted as employees.
If they have at least four employees, coverage is required. Note that LLC members and corporate officers are also counted.
Coverage is mandatory in this industry if the business has six employees or more. They will also need it if 12 or more temporary employees work between 30 and 45 days per season.
Having workers’ comp coverage is a must if they have workers in Florida.
Before starting a project in Florida, independent and self-employed contractors need this coverage.
If the deceased person worked in any of the above sectors, the chances are that they had workers’ compensation coverage. Talk to an attorney, and they will find out whether your loved one was covered and the type of coverage they had.
Who Can Receive Death Benefits From Workers’ Comp Cover in Florida?
Florida is very strict on who can get death benefits from workers’ compensation. You are only eligible if you depended on the worker for financial support before their demise. Beneficiaries might include:
- The spouse
- Children under 18 years
- Children under 22 that are full-time students
- Children of any age that are unable to support themselves due to mental and physical limitations
In case the worker had no spouse or children, other surviving dependents might qualify for these benefits. It could be:
If you think you are an eligible beneficiary of a worker that died from an accident at work, Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers can help. They can assess your relationship with the deceased and advise you on seeking death benefits in Florida.
How Much Do Beneficiaries Receive in Death Benefits?
Death benefits in Florida are paid weekly. However, the weekly benefits for accidents that occurred in 2019 and later cannot exceed $939.
Married, No Children
The surviving spouse receives 50% of the money they earned every week before they died.
Married, One or More Children
The spouse receives 50% of their weekly earnings, and an additional 16.7% on the children’s behalf.
Children, No Spouse
In cases where the worker had no spouse or is deceased, each child receives 33.33% of their weekly wages. However, not more than 66.7% can be issued in benefits.
No Children, No Spouse
The surviving parents will each receive 25% of their child’s weekly earnings.
No Spouse, No Children, No Parents
The deceased’s siblings and grandchildren might receive 15% of his/her weekly wages. But the combined earnings should not exceed 66.7%.
Talk to Tampa workers’ compensation lawyers to determine how much you can receive from your spouse’s, parent’s, child’s, sibling’s, or grandparent’s death benefit. They can also represent you and assist in fighting for what you deserve.
What are the Requirements For Filing a Death Benefits Claim?
A death benefit claim has to meet certain criteria to be valid in Florida. First, the worker must have died due to a work-related illness or injury. You must also bring your claim within the following timelines:
- Within one year from the day the work accident occurred
- Within five years from the day, the accident occurred if the worker suffered a continuous disability
- Two years from the date you realize a loved one’s death was due to a work accident or illness
Once you establish the cause of death and you are within the set timelines, you can file the claim at the Florida Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims. Your workers’ compensation attorney in Tampa can help you prepare all the documentation needed and guide you appropriately.
To What Extent are Funeral Expenses Covered in Florida?
Losing a loved one is already stressful and sad, and can be an overwhelming financial burden. Funeral expenses are usually high, but the workers’ compensation death benefits can cover some or all of the costs.
You can get up to $7,500 for funeral expenses in Florida. However, the death benefits combined with the funeral expenses cannot exceed $150,000. An experienced Florida injury attorney can answer all your questions and help you find out how much you can get in funeral expenses.
How Can an Attorney Help with the Claim?
The procedure for applying for a deceased person’s death benefits can be protracted and complicated. And if you don’t file a claim properly, they can be turned down, and you might miss out on the weekly benefits you are entitled to.
An experienced attorney is acquainted with the requirements and the standard procedures. They can help you file correctly and claim the maximum possible amount. You will also receive the benefits earliest possible with fewer or no legal hurdles.
Attorneys Providing a Voice for those that Need It Most
Compensation doesn’t always come easy. Insurance companies might claim that the death of your loved one did not result from a work-related illness or injury. Your legal team might have a lot of proving to do before you are awarded what you deserve.
If a seasoned workers’ compensation attorney in Tampa, FL, handles your case, you are assured of receiving compensation benefits. It might not fully make up for the person’s financial contribution to the family, but it might make the journey more bearable. Talk to us today and discuss all your workers’ comp concerns.