FAQs About Settling a Florida Workers’ Comp Death Benefits Claim
It is horrific to think that a loved one’s life could be at risk simply for going to work, but statistics on fatal workplace injuries and occupational diseases reveal that there were 138 job-related deaths in Florida in 2019. Fortunately for the victim’s surviving loved ones, the state workers’ compensation system pays out death benefits to ease the financial hardships for qualifying claimants. You may be eligible to receive monetary benefits, and it is even possible to settle your claim with the employer’s workers’ comp insurance company.
However, even if you do qualify for death benefits under Florida law, settlement may not be the right fit for your situation. You can trust an Ocala workers’ compensation attorney to advise you, but answers to common questions about death benefits may be helpful.
Do I qualify to receive death benefits? Certain surviving family members may be eligible for death benefits after a loved one dies, but only if they have a relationship defined by law. You may qualify if you are:
- The victim’s spouse;
- A child under 18 years old;
- A child under age 22 if you are a full-time student;
- A child of any age who suffers from a disabling medical condition; and,
- Parents if they were dependent upon the employee for support.
What are other qualifications to be entitled to death benefits in a workers’ comp claim? The victim must have died because of an on-the-job accident or occupational disease, rather than under some circumstances that are not related to employment. Plus, your loved one must have employee status instead of some other position that is not covered, such as independent contractor.
Note that Florida’s workers’ comp system only pays a death benefit if the fatality occurred within one year of workplace accident OR within five years of after being continuously disabled because of a work-related illness.
How much can I recover by filing a death benefits claim? The details are extremely fact-specific, but keep in mind that you can obtain up to $150,000 for:
- Funeral expenses under $7,500;
- A benefit at a maximum of $939 per week; and,
- Educational benefits, as the surviving spouse.
What are the advantages of settling workers’ comp claim for death benefits? The amount you receive is paid weekly until you reach the death benefits ceiling or you become ineligible. You may consider settling if you would prefer a different periodic arrangement, or many individuals opt to have the payment made as a one-time lump sum. Depending on your circumstances, you may want the funds for a large expenditure or to pay off other bills. It is possible to work out a settlement with the workers’ comp insurance company if it suits your situation.
An Ocala, FL Workers Comp’ Lawyer Can Answer Your Questions
If you would like more information on death benefits under Florida workers’ compensation laws, please contact the Ocala workers’ compensation lawyers at the Musleh Law Firm at 352-732-0600 or via our website. We can set up a free consultation to review your circumstances at our offices.